Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) makes drugs for the brain, heart, and other body parts. The biopharmaceutical's blockbuster cardiovascular lineup includes heart disease drug Plavix and Avapro for hypertension. BMS also makes antipsychotic medication Abilify and HIV treatments Reyataz and Sustiva. Most of its sales come from products in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular care, hepatitis B, immunology, metabolics, neuroscience, oncology, and virology. BMS has global research facilities and manufacturing plants, mainly in the US and Europe, and its products are marketed to health care practitioners, hospitals, and managed care providers in 100 countries.
Following the patent expirations of key products Plavix and Avapro, BMS is pinning its hopes on rising sales of newer medicines in fields including neurology, metabolism, and oncology. Products showing promising growth include Yervoy, Eliquis, and Opdivo. Abilify sales represented 13% of BMS' revenues in 2014, but the company will lose its rights to the drug in the US and in most international markets in 2015. Sales of biologic medicines (made using live proteins such as antibodies) -- including cancer drug Yervoy and rheumatoid arthritis medicine Orencia -- are also on the rise. In 2014, Orencia and Sprycel sales represented about 10% of total revenues each.
BMS is determined to keep pumping out new medicines from its pipeline: The company is investigating the Opdivo antibody as an anti-cancer treatment.
While the company serves a global customer base, the US market accounts for about half of its annual revenues. BMS' major research and development facilities are in New Jersey and Connecticut, with other sites in the US, the UK, Belgium, India, and other countries. It has about a dozen manufacturing facilities, which are located in the US and Puerto Rico, France, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, and China.
Sales and Marketing
US wholesale drug distributors McKesson, Cardinal Health, and AmerisourceBergen account for about 55% of annual sales. In addition to wholesalers, the company also sells some products directly to customers including hospitals, clinics, physicians and nurse practitioners, government agencies, pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and managed-care organizations (MCOs). BMS employs a direct sales force in certain markets; it also uses independent marketing representatives. Some products are sold through partnerships with other drugmakers, including Sanofi (Plavix and Avapro), Otsuka (Abilify), and Gilead Sciences (HIV drugs Atripla and Sustiva).
Annual advertising expense of some $734 million goes towards television, radio, print, and digital promotion activities, which target consumers, medical professionals, benefit managers, and managed care organizations.
The biggest financial story for BMS is the loss of US patent protection on its bestselling drugs Plavix and Avapro in the first half of 2012, which caused overall 2012 revenues to decline by 17% to some $17.6 billion; revenue fell to $16.4 billion the following year. In 2014 revenue fell 3% to $15.9 billion as a result of the divestiture of its diabetes business that year as well as the reduction of its share of Abilify in the US and abroad. Net income, which has fluctuated over the past five years, decreased 22% to $2 billion in 2014 on revenue declines. Lower profits and an increase in cash used for accounts payable led to a decline in operating cash flow, which slid 11% to $3.1 billion.
To remake itself into a biopharmaceutical powerhouse, the company has engaged in its string-of-pearls pharmaceutical strategy, which aims to add harder-to-copy biotech drugs and drug candidates to its pipeline. The company's R&D efforts are focused on areas of significant unmet medical need, including psychiatric, neurological, cardiovascular, metabolism, oncology, bacterial and viral infections, and inflammatory or immune system disorders. Collaborations are an important part of BMS' development and marketing strategy. BMS also works to expand its offerings and fight off patent expiration losses by finding new uses of already approved drugs.
In the oncology arena, BMS is building on the success of Yervoy, which brought in some $1.3 billion in revenue in 2014, as well as Sprycel and Erbitux. That year, BMS entered into an agreement with F-Star Alpha that provides the company with an exclusive option to buy F-Star and its FS102 candidate for the treatment of breast and gastric cancer. And in 2015 the company announced plans to buy biotechnology firm Flexus, which is focused on the discovery and development of novel anti-cancer treatments.
Meanwhile, BMS' hepatitis C portfolio has been growing with the 2014 introductions of Daklinza and Sunvepra.
In partnership with Pfizer, the company launched Eliquis in 2013; Eliquis was given approval in the US and Europe for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms. The company received FDA approval of its Evotaz HIV tablet and its Opdivo injection treatment in 2015.
BMS divested its diabetic business in early 2014.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Acquisitions are a major piece of BMS' growth goals. In 2014 the company acquired iPierian, a biotechnology firm focused on finding new treatments for the tauopathies category of neurodegenerative disease. That deal provided BMS with full rights to IPN007, a preclinical monoclonal antibody.