The oncology segment
Due to the strong performance of Opdivo, the oncology segment has emerged as the largest revenue contributor for Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) in 3Q16. The oncology segment contributed ~35% of total revenues for Bristol-Myers Squibb during 3Q16. The key products for the segment include Opdivo, Empliciti, Yervoy, and Sprycel.
Opdivo is a human PD-1 blocking antibody used in lung cancer and melanoma treatments. Opdivo is part of BMY’s alliance with Ono Pharmaceutical. Opdivo is the seventh drug to get FDA approval for the treatment of melanoma since 2011. Opdivo reported sales of $920 million in 3Q16. We’ll discuss what Bristol-Myers Squibb expects from Opdivo in the next article of this series.
Empliciti, a new oncology drug, was launched in the US markets in December 2015 and in European markets in May 2016. The drug reported revenues of $41 million in 3Q16.
Sprycel, an oral inhibitor, reported an increase of ~14.8% in 3Q16 revenues as compared to 3Q15, following increased demand for the drug in the US markets.
Yervoy is a monoclonal antibody used to treat melanoma. Yervoy revenues rose ~18.7% in 3Q16 due to competition from other drugs. For the US markets, Yervoy revenues rose 83% following the approval of the Opdivo-Yervoy combination by the US Food and Drug Administration (or FDA) for the treatment of BRAF V600 wild-type unresectable or metastatic melanoma in January 2016.
Merck’s (MRK) Keytruda (pembrolizumab), a PD-1 blocker (a compound that blocks the interaction between PD-1 protein and its ligands), received FDA approval in 2014 for the treatment of melanoma. Keytruda is a better first-line therapy as compared to Yervoy, which has affected Yervoy’s sales.
Investors can consider the PowerShares Dynamic Large Cap Growth Portfolio (PWB), which holds 3.0% of its total assets in Bristol-Myers Squibb. PWB also holds 3.4% of its assets in Eli Lilly (LLY), 1.4% in Humana (HUM), and 3.4% in Celgene (CELG).