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Inside Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Core Immuno-Oncology Strategy

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Core strategy

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) plans to strengthen its position in the immuno-oncology segment in 2017 by focusing on three components of the business. Despite heavy competition from peers such as Merck (MRK), Sanofi (SNY), and Roche Holdings (RHHBY), BMY plans to defend its share in the US lung cancer market, and for 2017, Bristol-Myers Squibb has also committed to growing its presence in head and neck cancer and melanoma and to enter the bladder cancer segment.

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BMY also plans to implement an international market expansion as a key growth strategy for its immuno-oncology business. In 2016, Bristol-Myers Squibb managed to conclude reimbursement-related negotiations in international markets for Opdivo-Yervoy regimen. With patients expected to rapidly adopt this regimen, Bristol-Myers Squibb is expected to witness a significant revenue contribution from these international markets in 2017.

Combination research programs

The above diagram shows a snapshot of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s 14 registrational trials that are scheduled to publish data by 2018. These involve multiple investigational combination therapies targeting about ten types of tumors.

With data from multiple research programs scheduled to be released in 2017 and 2018, Bristol-Myers Squibb believes that future growth in the immuno-oncology market will be driven by demand for combination therapies. This trend is already been seen in the melanoma segment and is also expected to unfold in lung cancer segment. With combination therapies demonstrating higher efficacy and safety profile, they may witness solid uptake both in the US and internationally.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is currently evaluating multiple combination regimens involving immuno-oncology agents as well as chemotherapies. The company also plans to test its combination regimens coupled with short-term chemotherapy to treat a small segment of patients with rapidly progressing advanced lung cancer.

Notably, the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF (VTI) has about 0.40% of its total portfolio in BMY.

In the next article, we’ll take a closer look at Bristol-Myers Squibb’s long-term growth strategy.

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