Bristol Myers Squibb
Estimated 2026 sales: $43.8 billion
2019 sales: $25.17 billion
2019-26 CAGR: 8.23%
BMS will slip and slide through the rankings over the next few years, settling into 8th place in 2026 with $43.8 billion in projected sales. The company has cancer drug Opdivo and blood thinner Eliquis to thank for that rise, plus the buyout of Celgene it completed late last year.
Back in November, Bristol closed its $74 billion megamerger with Celgene—announced at the start of the year—transforming the New York-based drugmaker into one of 2020’s biggest biopharmas. On the heels of that tie-up, Celgene drugs added $17 billion to Bristol’s top line and temporarily propelled the U.S. company from 10th to fourth position in Evaluate's sales rankings.
Evaluate Pharma has pegged PD-1 inhibitor Opdivo as the third best-selling drug in 2026, surpassing fourth-place projections from a 2024 outlook. If those estimates hold true, the cancer fighter will net Bristol Myers $11.75 billion in 2026, up nearly 46% from its 2019 sales of $8.06 billion.
But Opdivo will face intense competition from Merck's Keytruda, a drug it's sparred with since the pair first rolled out in 2014. Opdivo briefly held the sales crown, but it’s since taken a back seat thanks to struggles in the lucrative lung cancer market. Bristol is hoping a pair of recent first-line approvals for Opdivo and fellow I-O drug Yervoy can buoy sales, but Merck's Keytruda-chemo combo has a strong hold on the field.
Still, Evaluate Pharma sees Bristol’s blood thinner Eliquis more than making up for Opdivo’s shortcomings. Eliquis holds the No. 2 spot in Evaluate’s 2026 drug rankings at $12.48 billion—about half of Keytruda’s projected sales.
Celgene’s myeloma therapy Revlimid has also racked up major sales lately, although the high is doomed to be short-lived, Evaluate warns. The drug dodged an Indian patent challenge back in February of 2019, delaying the onslaught of generics in that market until 2023, and its U.S. patent won't expire until 2027. But exclusivity in Europe runs out in 2024, dampening the drug’s long-term potential.
On the pipeline front, BMS folded two major CAR-T candidates into its pipeline as part of the Celgene deal: ide-cel (idecabtagene vicleucel) for multiple myeloma, plus lymphoma treatment liso-cel (lisocabtagene maraleucel). Top-line data on ide-cel reported last December showed that the treatment shrank tumors in nearly three-quarters of the 128 multiple myeloma patients observed, and totally eliminated tumors in close to one-third.
Meanwhile, BMS filed for FDA approval for liso-cel after linking it to a 53% complete response rate in adults with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma; in May, the FDA delayed its decision on the treatment until November, requesting more liso-cel data from BMS. Still, the company said it was committed to working with the agency to see both CAR-T treatments approved before end of year.
Other drugs to watch on Evaluate’s list are Bristol’s anemia drug Rebloyzyl—another Celgene boon—with an expected 106% annual growth rate from 2019 to 2026 and $1.72 billion in sales that year. Plus, Celgene’s multiple sclerosis drug Zeposia, which won approval back in March, could generate strong revenue on the heels of a launch stalled by COVID-19.
For its part, Bristol is looking at ways to drive growth beyond its labs. In March, the company nabbed Barclay’s exec Elizabeth Mily to serve as vice president of strategy and business development. Mily has $200 billion in completed mergers and acquisitions under her belt, and Bristol is hoping she’ll bring some new buys into the fold.