R&D budget: $3.48B (€2.54B)
Change over 2008: +1.7%
Income spent on R&D: 16.9%
Earlier this year Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMS) had its first sit-down with the investment community in three years. Evidently, the company had been waiting for something to boast about. And it made up for its lengthy absence by detailing 60 compounds in development, with seven in full development. Its late-stage drug candidates include ipilimumab, a new therapy for melanoma analysts say has real blockbuster potential. The FDA is expected to announce its decision on the drug before the end of this year.
BMS acquired ipilimumab when it bought out Medarex, a key part of its pipeline overhaul. There's also brivanib (liver diseases); necitumumab (oncology), the promising dapagliflozin (diabetes); belatacept (an organ transplant drug delayed as regulators sought more info); and apixaban (a potential mega-blockbuster blood thinner) which are either in late-stage trials or filed for approval. And the company has been working on additional indications for approved drugs like Sprycel, Orencia and Onglyza.
The company expects five of its late-stage compounds to be launched by 2012. And it needs to deliver on those promises. BMS's blockbuster Plavix loses patent protection in 2012.
There have been some setbacks along the way this year. XL-184, a cancer drug licensed in from Exelixis, was handed back a few months ago. But so far there have been more advances than setbacks on the R&D side of the business this year; not bad in an industry that faces steep odds at every turn.