With Revlimid erosion coming, Bristol Myers spotlights early performance of CAR-Ts Abecma, Breyanzi

Bristol Myers Squibb
Bristol Myers Squibb reported sales of $11.6 billion in the third quarter, a 10% increase year-over-year, but down from $11.7 billion in the second quarter. (Bristol Myers Squib)

With Bristol Myers Squibb’s blood cancer powerhouse Revlimid soon to face generic competition in and outside the United States, the company is trying to find its next wave of blockbusters.

On Wednesday, the company presented signs that its two new CAR-T treatments are progressing nicely in their infancy on the market.

Abecma, which scored FDA approval in March and launched in May as the first cell-based gene therapy for multiple myeloma, garnered $71 million in sales in the quarter, an increase from the $24 million it generated in the second quarter.

Another new CAR-T hopeful, Breyanzi, which won approval February for lymphoma, went from $17 million in sales in the last quarter to $30 million.

“We saw a very nice increase in demand for both products,” BMS CCO Chris Boerner said on a Wednesday conference call. “We now have 70 accounts that have been activated over both products and the majority of those have used or plan to use one or both of the cell therapy products.”

Boerner admitted that vector supply constraints are still hindering Abecma’s uptake. The company expects to see a similar sales figure for the treatment in the fourth quarter, with improvement coming in the second half of 2022, he added.

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“When I look at the experience we’ve had with Abecma and Breyanzi, it really confirms our belief that, given the right treatments with the right efficacy and safety profile, there is tremendous willingness of physicians to proscribe and drive another option in the marketplace,” BMS CEO Giovanni Caforio said. “I’m very assured that the commercial potential of this modality is being recognized significantly more than in the past.”

Meanwhile, amid talk of its inevitable erosion, Revlimid sales continued to grow, reaching $3.4 billion, an 11% increase year over year.

Carforio dismissed the idea that declining Revlimid sales would severely damage BMS as a whole.

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“The combination of strong growth from our products, namely Opdivo and Eliquis, combined with the strong uptake of our (new drugs) will more than offset the loss of exclusivity of Revlimid,” Caforio said.

Sales of Opdivo reached $1.9 billion in the third quarter, the same as the previous period, and up 7% year-over-year. Sales of Eliquis came in at $2.4 billion, an increase of 15% from last year's third quarter.

BMS recorded revenue of $11.6 billion, a 10% increase from the same quarter last year, but a slight drop from the $11.7 billion it posted in the second quarter. The company reaffirmed its annual guidance.