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BMS Focused on Diversifying Oncology Portfolio Beyond Immunotherapy With Acquisitions

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NEW YORK – Bristol Myers Squibb is focusing on diversifying its oncology product portfolio with its planned acquisition of Mirati Therapeutics and the forthcoming approval decision for the tyrosine kinase inhibitor repotrectinib it acquired from Turning Point Therapeutics.

BMS Chief Operating Officer Chris Boerner said during a call to discuss the firm's Q3 financial results that the Mirati acquisition, along with last year's acquisition of Turning Point, will help the firm expand beyond immuno-oncology products.

"Through this acquisition, we're strengthening and diversifying our oncology portfolio, with the addition of Krazati and potentially its PRMT5 [inhibitor], along with a pipeline of future KRAS inhibitors and enabling programs," Boerner said. "I would highlight that our new product portfolio will expand this quarter with the addition of [Turning Point's] repotrectinib next month and, upon completion of the Mirati transaction, Krazati."

He noted that the $4.8 billion Mirati acquisition, announced earlier this month, is expected to close in the first half of 2024. Mirati's approved drug, Krazati (adagrasib), along with its pipeline of KRAS, PRMT5, and SOS1 inhibitors, has the potential to be a "strong catalyst of growth in the back end of the decade," said Adam Lenkowsky, BMS chief commercialization officer.

"Mirati continues to diversify our oncology business away from immuno-oncology towards targeted therapies, and we're very excited about that opportunity," Boerner said.

Boerner also highlighted growth in Q3 of BMS's new oncology products, including PD-1 and LAG-3 inhibitor Opdualag (nivolumab and relatlimab) and autologous CAR T-cell therapy Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel).

For the three months ended Sept. 30, BMS reported total revenues of $10.97 billion, a 2 percent decrease from Q3 2022 revenues of $11.22 billion. The firm met analysts' average revenue expectation of $10.97 billion for the quarter. According to BMS CFO David Elkins, the overall revenue decrease was due to "expected decline" in sales of Revlimid (lenalidomide), a drug for multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, and certain lymphomas, which lost exclusivity last year. He added that BMS's in-line products and new product portfolio segments grew in Q3.

Opdualag sales nearly doubled in Q3, bringing in $166 million worldwide compared to $84 million in the same period of 2022. Elkins said Opdualag has a US market share of around 25 percent in first-line melanoma, with "room to grow, particularly in the approximately 15 percent of patients that are still receiving PD-1 monotherapy," he added.

"Opdualag has become a new standard-of-care in patients with metastatic melanoma, where BMS's total market share is 65 percent," Elkins said.

Sales of Breyanzi were $92 million in Q3, more than double its Q3 2022 sales of $44 million, as demand in second- and third-line large B-cell lymphoma increased, Elkins said. In the US, Breyanzi is approved for the treatment of large B-cell lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, high-grade B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal LBCL, and refractory follicular lymphoma.

BMS's Opdivo (nivolumab) revenues were $2.28 billion in Q3 compared to $2.05 billion in the year-ago period, an 11 percent increase. BMS also recorded an 11 percent sales increase for Yervoy (ipilimumab), with worldwide sales of $579 million in Q3 2023 compared to $523 million in Q3 2022.

Demand for Opdivo in the US was driven by indications in first-line lung and upper gastrointestinal cancers along with adjuvant treatment of bladder cancer. Outside of the US, growth was driven by demand in first-line lung and upper gastrointestinal cancers and expanded access indications.

"This performance along with potential new launch opportunities in peri-adjuvant lung and first-line bladder, as well as in recently approved adjuvant melanoma indications, reinforces our confidence in the continued growth for Opdivo," Elkins said. He added that recent positive data from a study of a subcutaneous formulation of Opdivo will strengthen the franchise's longevity.

One oncology product that saw declines in Q3 was the multiple myeloma CAR T-cell therapy Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel). Revenues were $93 million in Q3, a 13 percent decrease from Q3 2022 sales of $107 million. Elkins noted that manufacturing maintenance earlier this year affected Q3 supply and sales.

"Abecma performance has lagged expectations," Boerner said. "In-class competition and dynamics with bispecifics in late-line multiple myeloma have impacted performance."

BMS's net earnings in Q3 2023 were $1.93 billion, or $.93 per share, compared to $1.61 billion, or $.75 per share, in Q3 2022. The company's adjusted EPS was $2.00, beating the consensus Wall Street EPS estimate of $1.83.

As of Sept. 30, BMS had $8.01 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable debt securities.