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Bristol-Myers (BMY) Gains 7.6% YTD: What to Expect in 2H

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Shares of Bristol-Myers (BMY - Free Report) have gained 7.6% in the year so far against the industry’s decline of 2.2%.

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The company, which is one of the leading global specialty biopharmaceutical companies, has had a pretty decent run on the bourses in the first half of 2021 on new drug approvals even as some of the leading established medicines face challenges.

Bristol-Myers’ multiple myeloma (MM) drug Revlimid (added with erstwhile Celgene’s acquisition) continues to be the top revenue generator with its solid performance. However, the performance in the first quarter was tepid but the momentum should pick up.

Blood thinner drug Eliquis for which the company has a collaboration with Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) continues with its stellar performance on sustained demand. Eliquis is the leading oral anti-coagulant drug and the company sees steady growth in both Eliquis brand and the market.

The performance of immuno-oncology drug Opdivo, approved for multiple cancer indications, persists to be disappointing as sales face a slowdown. Nevertheless, label expansions for lucrative indications of lung cancer and gastric cancer should somewhat offset this downside.

The recent approval of new drugs adds a stream of revenues, which should propel growth in the coming quarters. The FDA recently approved Zeposia (ozanimod) 0.92 mg for the treatment of adults with moderately-to-severely active ulcerative colitis (UC), a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This gave a significant boost to the company, given the product’s market potential.

The European Commission granted full Marketing Authorization to Onureg (azacitidine tablets) as a maintenance therapy in adult patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

In March, the company and partner bluebird bio, Inc. (BLUE - Free Report) obtained the FDA approval for Abecma (idecabtagenevicleucel; ide-cel) as the first B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave a positive opinion recommending the approval of Abecma.

The company recently announced a global strategic collaboration agreement with Eisai to co-develop and co-commercialize MORAb-202, an antibody drug conjugate (ADC).

Its performance in the second half of the year should improve with revival in demand for legacy drugs and incremental revenues derived from new approvals.

Bristol-Myers currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the health care sector is Repligen Corporation (RGEN - Free Report) , which presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see  the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Repligen’s earnings estimates for 2021 have increased to $2.26 from $1.91 in the past 90 days. The stock has rallied 7.8% year to date.

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