The cardiovascular segment
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) cardiovascular segment’s key drug is Eliquis. This segment contributed nearly 11.2% of total revenues in 2015.
Eliquis is an oral inhibitor drug that prevents strokes in non-valvular atrial fibrillation and prevents and treats venous thromboembolism disorders. Eliquis is part of BMY’s alliance with Pfizer (PFE).
Eliquis sales improved by over 240% to $1.9 billion in 2015, compared with $774 million in 2014. However, Eliquis is less profitable and had a negative impact on the gross margins. Overall, Eliquis sales were driven by its broad uses and increased prescriptions from medical practitioners. Operating expenses increased due to increased investments for Eliquis to support its continued growth.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is optimistic on the growth of Eliquis and expects Eliquis and the immuno-oncology drug Opdivo to be the growth drivers over the next five years. Eliquis competes with Xarelto from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pradaxa from Boehringer Ingelheim.
Other research and developments
The company’s cardiovascular research is focused on ongoing and significant unmet medical needs such as arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, and heart failure. The company is also focused on the relationship between diabetes and heart disease. It’s trying to develop a diabetes drug with cardiovascular benefits.
To divest risk, investors could consider the iShares US Healthcare ETF (IHE), which holds 6.8% of its total investments in Bristol-Myers Squibb, 10.7% in Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), 6.2% in Eli Lilly and Company (LLY), and 8.7% in Pfizer (PFE).