2. Revlimid

Revlimid bottle
Revlimid, Celgene's linchpin drug, has drawn even more scrutiny since January 2019, when Bristol-Myers Squibb said it would buy the company. (Celgene)

2. Revlimid
2018 U.S. sales: $6.5 billion
Used for: multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndromes, mantle cell lymphoma

While the big news for Celgene early this year was the company’s $74 billion acquisition by Bristol-Myers Squibb, it's no surprise the centerpiece of that deal—blockbuster oncology drug Revlimid—has continued on the upswing.

Revlimid, a treatment for multiple myeloma and other blood cancers, raked in $6.47 billion in U.S. sales in 2018, an impressive 19.2% increase from the year before.

And more growth could well be on the way. In November, Revlimid in tandem with Roche's Rituxan aced a trial in follicular lymphoma patients who'd failed on prior therapy. The pair cut the risk of disease progression or death by 54% compared with Rituxan alone, and that strong performance yielded an FDA priority review that's expected to wrap up June 27. If it wins the FDA's blessing, Revlimid's new indication could reap an additional $600 million in annual sales, an analyst said when the data were released.

Even better for Celgene—and now Bristol-Myers—was Revlimid’s successful evasion of a patent challenge from Dr. Reddy’s Pharmaceuticals. In February 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tossed out a bid to invalidate three of Revlimid’s patents, effectively forestalling generic competition in the U.S. until 2023. 

2. Revlimid