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Bristol Myers (BMY) Top Drugs Maintain Momentum Amid Competition

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Bristol Myers (BMY - Free Report) , one of the leading global specialty biopharmaceutical companies, has performed well in the second half of the year on the back of strength in its key drugs.

Bristol-Myers’ multiple myeloma (MM) drug Revlimid (added with erstwhile Celgene’s acquisition) continues to be the top revenue generator with its solid performance primarily driven by demand for triple-based therapies and increasing treatment duration.

Blood thinner drug Eliquis’ stellar performance continues on sustained demand. It 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, has revived after a slowdown. Label expansions for indications of lung cancer and gastric cancer have boosted sales.

The recent approval of new drugs adds a stream of revenues, which should propel growth in the coming quarters.

Reblozyl, in collaboration with erstwhile Acceleron, which is now part of Merck (MRK - Free Report) , has also performed well.  The FDA approval of Zeposia (ozanimod) 0.92 mg for the treatment of adults with moderately-to-severely active ulcerative colitis (UC), a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has also added an incremental stream of revenues for the company. This market has good potential and sales should pick up. It is also approved in the United States for the treatment of adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis and in the European Union for these two indications.

Earlier in the year, Bristol Myers also obtained FDA approval for Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel; liso-cel), a CD19-directed CAR T cell therapy for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory (R/R) large B-cell lymphoma (LBCL).

The company also won FDA approval for Abecma, a first-in-class B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-directed CAR T cell immunotherapy.

The successful development of other drugs will diversify its revenue base.

Shares of the company have lost 8.9% year to date compared with the industry's decline of 15.8%.


Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

However, recent pipeline setbacks are a bit of concern. Last month, the company announced that the mid-stage study investigating pipeline candidate deucravacitinib for treating moderate to severe UC has failed. The FDA has also extended the review of the new drug application (NDA) for cardiovascular candidate mavacamten.

Competition is stiff for Opdivo from the likes of Merck’s Keytruda. Keytruda, approved for various oncology indications, is the key growth driver for MRK.

The FDA recently approved Keytruda for the adjuvant treatment of patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) at intermediate-high or high risk of recurrence, following nephrectomy, or following nephrectomy and resection of metastatic lesions. Further label expansion of the drug will boost Merck’s top line.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Bristol Myers currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  A couple of better-ranked stocks in the biotech sector are Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT - Free Report) and Viking Therapeutics (VKTX - Free Report) , both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Loss per share estimates for Sarepta have narrowed from $6.95 to $4.99 for 2021 and from $4.83 to $3.61 for 2022 in the past 30 days. Sarepta delivered an earnings surprise of 11.06%, on average, in the last four quarters.

Loss per share estimates for Viking Therapeutics have narrowed to 74 cents from 81 cents for 2021 and to $1.08 from $1.18 for 2022 in the past 30 days. Viking delivered an earnings surprise of 2.06%, on average, in the last four quarters.