Eliquis: Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Key Cardiovascular Drug


Jan. 31 2017, Updated 10:36 a.m. ET

The cardiovascular segment

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) cardiovascular segment consists of its key drug, Eliquis. The segment contributed nearly 18.0% to the company’s total revenues in 4Q16.

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Eliquis is an oral inhibitor that targets stroke prevention in non-valvular atrial fibrillation and the prevention and treatment of venous thromboembolism disorders. Eliquis is part of BMY’s alliance with Pfizer (PFE).

Eliquis is a new blockbuster drug in Bristol-Myers Squibb’s portfolio. Its sales rose ~61.0% to $539.0 million in 4Q16 compared to $335.0 million in 4Q15. However, Eliquis is less profitable and thus had a negative impact on the company’s gross margins. Overall, Eliquis sales were driven by its broad label or uses as well as increased prescriptions from medical practitioners. Its operating expenses rose due to more investments in drugs, including Eliquis, to support continued growth for the drug.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is positive about growth for Eliquis. It expects Eliquis and oncology drug Opdivo to be its growth drivers over the next five years.

Eliquis competes with drugs such as Xarelto from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and Pradaxa from Boehringer Ingelheim.

Other research and developments

Bristol-Myers Squibb’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 avoid the risk, you can consider the iShares US Pharmaceuticals (IHE). IHE holds 6.3% of its total assets in Bristol-Myers Squibb, 6.4% in Allergan (AGN), and 8.4% in Pfizer (PFE).


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