JPM24: Bristol Myers Squibb CEO Boerner emphasizes organic pipeline over recent M&A deals

It took Bristol Myers Squibb’s new CEO Chris Boerner 16 minutes into his 24-minute presentation to address the big news the company made last month, with its holiday buyouts of Karuna Therapeutics, for $14 billion, and RayzeBio, for $4.1 billion.

What Boerner most wanted to highlight was the company’s pipeline which he said could deliver more than 16 new products through 2030.

“These products are overwhelmingly first- or best-in-class,” Boerner said. “And it is the pipeline momentum that supports the growth opportunities that we see in the back half of the decade.”

That period will be crunch time for BMS as it bears the brunt of patent expirations and Inflation Reduction Act effects for its trio of blockbuster drugs Revlimid, Eliquis and Opdivo, which accounted for 65% of the company’s revenue in 2022.

“While we have entered another significant period of transition for the company, I am very confident in our ability to navigate this journey with the goal of achieving top-tier growth by the end of the decade.”    

Neuroscience specialist Karuna brings KarXT, which is set up for approval later this year, “has the potential to transform the treatment of schizophrenia and has a number of subsequent indications with significant, we believe, multi-billion dollar potential,” Boerner said. Meanwhile, RayzeBio provides earlier-stage radiopharma assets that could blossom later.

When asked about the potential to make other such deals, the BMS CEO said the company’s first priority is to “deliver on our organic pipeline,” Borner said. “I don’t think our pipeline has ever been richer.”

With those big-money deals done, Boerner added that BMS’s focus on business development will be on “licensing opportunities, partnerships and bolt-on opportunities.”

As for the more immediate future, Boerner sounded optimistic about the supply problems the company has experienced with CAR-T treatment Breyanzi, saying he feels "very good" about the expanded production capacity the company has secured.

"We've got to make sure we've got that capacity but more importantly, we've got two new indications with follicular lymphoma and (chronic lymphocytic leukemia)," Boerner said about Breyanzi.

Boerner also touted the improvements BMS has made in supplying another cell therapy, Abecma.

As for another of BMS's hematology products, Reblozyl, expansion is underway in treating lower-risk MDS-associated anemia, bringing a four-fold increase in the treatable patient population for the treatment, Boerner said.