Even as Revlimid's star fades, Bristol Myers' core offerings have reached a 'critical mass,' CEO says

Even as Revlimid generics chip away at Bristol Myers Squibb's top line, the company remains confident it can shepherd its roster of new drugs toward more than $25 billion in revenues by 2029, executives said on a conference call Wednesday.

The drugmaker has reason to feel secure, too: Armed with three new launches in Opdualag, Camzyos and Sotyktu—plus its recent CAR-T entrants Breyanzi and Abecma—all four of BMS’ bread-and-butter therapeutic areas have reached “critical mass,” CEO Giovanni Caforio, M.D., said on the call.

Those areas are oncology, propped up by products like Opdivo; cardiovascular, which is buoyed by the blockbuster Eliquis; immunology, populated by brands like Zeposia; and hematology, where BMS is bolstering its waning mega blockbuster Revlimid with new cell therapy offerings and the recent beta thalassemia and anemia drug Reblozyl.

“Each has foundational in-line brands, exciting new products, and a broadening mid- to late-stage pipeline,” Caforio said of the company’s areas of expertise, touting BMS’ development of a “more diversified business of younger products.”

As for the latest launch trinity of IO med Opdualag, cardiovascular drug Camzyos and oral plaque psoriasis therapy Sotyktu, “these approvals represent a significant milestone in the renewal of our portfolio, allowing multiple avenues for growth in the second half of the decade and beyond,” the CEO added.

Given the strength of BMS’ roster of new drugs, which have delivered more than $2 billion in annualized revenue so far, the company feels increasingly confident its freshman portfolio could gin up at least $25 billion in 2029 sales, BMS’ chief financial officer, David Elkins, said on the call.

Still, BMS has started to feel the sting of Revlimid generics both at home and abroad. Copycats took the biggest toll on sales in international markets, Elkins explained, noting that in the U.S., the company “saw slower-than-anticipated entry by second-wave generics in September.”

“We expect to see generic erosion progressively increasing in the coming weeks, and at this point, we expect Revlimid sales to be at the upper end of our $9 billion to $9.5 billion range for the year,” the BMS finance chief explained.

All told, Revlimid generated $2.42 billion in 2022’s third quarter, down a whopping 28% versus the same period in 2021.

For the entire quarter, BMS’ sales declined 3% year over year to $11.2 billion, which the company blamed on Revlimid competition and foreign currency effects.

Throughout Wednesday’s conference call, BMS stressed it was pleased with the launches of Opdualag, Camzyos and Sotyktu. Elsewhere along the company’s portfolio, its CAR-Ts Abecma and Breyanzi have been gaining steam, too.

Multiple myeloma treatment Abecma grew sales 51% to $107 million, while lymphoma med Breyanzi brought home $44 million, climbing 47%.

While BMS has previously stumbled on Abecma supply, the company is “very pleased with the manufacturing progress” it’s made on the production of its CAR-T, Elkins said on the call. BMS is also working to further expand capacity as it angles to move Abecma into earlier lines of disease.

As for the remainder of the year, BMS is sticking by its sales guidance for 2022, with revenues of about $46 billion in its sights.