Bristol-Myers Squibb is telling analysts this week that its portfolio of developing drugs could generate more sales than anyone expected. In a series of online meetings that started Monday, the drug maker raised its forecast for annual sales it could get from advanced-stage candidates from $ 15 billion to $ 20 billion starting in the second half of the decade.
Cancer treatments were the focus of Monday’s session. A presentation on Thursday morning will focus on blood disorders, and the last session on Friday will cover autoimmune treatments.
Bristol shares (ticker: BMY) are sold at a discount to other large pharmaceutical companies. Nearly 3% appeared after Monday’s webcast, hitting $ 59. As of noon Wednesday, shares had been restored to $ 57.50.
Morgan Stanley analyst David Risinger called the first session “encouraging” in a note the next day, noting that the new sales could offset expired patents. Rate the stock as overweight, with a price target of $ 64.
Many of Bristol’s new programs came with the acquisition of Celgene in November 2019. “I feel more secure in our company today than a year ago when the deal was announced,” Chief Executive Giovanni Caforio said in the first broadcast by Internet.
Caforio said the merger will generate savings of $ 2.5 billion, while continuing to leave the company with the financial resources to invest in drug development.
The combination of sales of Bristol Opdivo and Yervoy’s immuno-oncology drugs with the highly successful sales of Celgene de Revlimid and Pomalyst made the combined company the world’s largest seller of cancer treatments.
One of the half-dozen potential products the company is excited about is relatlimab, and an antibody that could prevent tumor resistance to Opdivo. A phase 2 and 3 trial for metastatic melanoma is underway, and data is expected later this year.
Adding relatlimab may prevent the depletion of immune cells as Opdivo helps attack tumors, said Samit Hirawat, Bristol’s chief medical officer for drug development. “We have more than 50 drugs in development in phase 1 and 2 clinical trials right now,” he said.
Bristol Chief Marketing Officer Christopher Boerner said he hopes to extend the combination of Opdivo and Yervoy from kidney cancer patients to lung cancer patients, as a first-line treatment.
“Despite advances in front-line lung cancer in recent years,” Boerner said, “there is still a significant unmet need here, particularly around the durability of responses.”
The company is hopeful about its Phase 1 trial of another immuno-oncological treatment called a BCMA T-cell activator, in patients with refractory multiple myeloma. The unmet need for this blood cancer is great, said Bristol President of Hematology Nadim Ahmed.
“[M]multiple myeloma remains a largely incurable disease, “said Ahmed. “The unfortunate fact of today is that the majority of patients diagnosed with multiple myeloma will die of multiple myeloma.”
As part of its Buy rating, Morgan Stanley’s Risinger notes that Bristol sells at a discount to its industry and its own history, with a future profit multiple of 9 times, compared to 13 times for other large pharmaceutical companies.
Write to Bill Alpert at [email protected]