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Bristol Rebuilds Oncology Business: Smart Work at FDA Helps

This article was originally published in RPM Report

Executive Summary

Bristol-Myers Squibb's oncology franchise is at roughly 70% of its level before Taxol went generic and sales began to freefall. But with a couple of recent product launches, expanding indications for others, and a showing that it can naviigate FDA in spaces where competitors have stumbled, it is back on track again.

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With The Launch Of Yervoy, Early Signs Of R&D Success For Bristol

Four years ago, Bristol management changed course and established the company as a pure play biopharma. Now, with the launch of Yervoy for metastatic melanoma and a late-stage pipeline that is chock-full, the strategy appears about to pay off. CEO Lamberto Andreotti and R&D president Elliott Sigal talked with IN VIVO about the launch of Yervoy and how Bristol, relying on R&D productivity, not diversification, is on track to overcome the extensive patent losses ahead.

Bristol-Myers's Grand Ambitions in Oncology

Bristol-Myers aims to become an oncology powerhouse in the next five years. Through M&A, alliances, and internal R&D, Bristol-Myers is building an armamentarium of oncology assets that allows it to take multiple "shots on goal." It is leveraging its past experiences in the field as it also adds new skill sets in biologics, market access, and biomarkers. But the market has become more competitive, as companies look to participate in one of the few growth areas of pharma. Bristol, like others, is carving out space in the Avastin-ineligible or -intolerant portion of the market, particularly in the gastrointestinal, colorectal, and head-and-neck cancer areas. Even if successful, current late-stage development projects aren't likely to contribute much to revenues before 2011-and oncology products have slow ramp-ups. With a patent cliff looming in 2012, the company needs new products now.

Bristol-Myers's Grand Ambitions in Oncology

Bristol-Myers aims to become an oncology powerhouse in the next five years. Through M&A, alliances, and internal R&D, Bristol-Myers is building an armamentarium of oncology assets that allows it to take multiple "shots on goal." It is leveraging its past experiences in the field as it also adds new skill sets in biologics, market access, and biomarkers. But the market has become more competitive, as companies look to participate in one of the few growth areas of pharma. Bristol, like others, is carving out space in the Avastin-ineligible or -intolerant portion of the market, particularly in the gastrointestinal, colorectal, and head-and-neck cancer areas. Even if successful, current late-stage development projects aren't likely to contribute much to revenues before 2011-and oncology products have slow ramp-ups. With a patent cliff looming in 2012, the company needs new products now.

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