Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. Reveals 13% Rise In Q1 Bottom Line

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The FINANCIAL — Bristol-Myers Squibb Company on April 27 reported results for the first quarter of 2017, which were highlighted by strong sales for key products Opdivo and Eliquis , regulatory approval for Opdivo in advanced bladder cancer in the U.S., positive opinions from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) for advanced bladder and head and neck cancers in Europe, and strategic transactions in oncology that further strengthened the company’s pipeline.

“During the first quarter we delivered strong sales and earnings growth, achieved important regulatory milestones for Opdivo in the U.S. and Europe and presented important new data across our Immuno-Oncology and fibrosis portfolios,” said Giovanni Caforio, M.D., chief executive officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Building on this strong start to the year, we will continue to drive commercial performance in the short-term while advancing important opportunities to broaden our approach in Immuno-Oncology and progressing our early specialty portfolio.”

FIRST QUARTER FINANCIAL RESULTS

Bristol-Myers Squibb posted first quarter 2017 revenues of $4.9 billion, an increase of 12% compared to the same period a year ago. Revenues increased 13% when adjusted for foreign exchange impact.

U.S. revenues increased 8% to $2.7 billion in the quarter compared to the same period a year ago. International revenues increased 18%. When adjusted for foreign exchange impact, international revenues increased 20%.

Gross margin as a percentage of revenue decreased from 76.0% to 74.5% in the quarter primarily due to product mix.

Marketing, selling and administrative expenses increased 1% to $1.1 billion in the quarter.

Research and development expenses increased 13% to $1.3 billion in the quarter.

The effective tax rate was 21.9% in the quarter, compared to 27.1% in the first quarter last year.

The company reported net earnings attributable to Bristol-Myers Squibb of $1.6 billion, or $0.94 per share, in the first quarter compared to net earnings of $1.2 billion, or $0.71 per share, for the same period in 2016. The results for the first quarter of 2017 included Bristol-Myers Squibb’s share of a patent-infringement litigation settlement related to Merck’s PD-1 antibody Keytruda® that contributed $0.18 per share, according to  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

The company reported non-GAAP net earnings attributable to Bristol-Myers Squibb of $1.4 billion, or $0.84 per share, in the first quarter, compared to $1.2 billion, or $0.74 per share, for the same period in 2016. An overview of specified items is discussed under the “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Information” section.

Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities were $8.8 billion, with a net cash position of $360 million, as of March 31, 2017.

Opdivo

Regulatory

In April, the company announced the CHMP recommended the approval of Opdivo for the treatment of patients with locally advanced unresectable or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) in adults after failure of prior platinum-containing chemotherapy. The CHMP recommendation will be reviewed by the European Commission (EC), which has the authority to approve medicines for the European Union (EU).

In April, the company announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted a supplemental Biologics License Application seeking to extend the use of Opdivo to patients with mismatch repair deficient or microsatellite instability high metastatic colorectal cancer after prior fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin- and irinotecan-based chemotherapy. The FDA granted the application priority review and the FDA action date is August 2, 2017.

In April, the FDA approved an updated indication for Opdivo for the treatment of adult patients with Classical Hodgkin lymphoma that have relapsed or progressed after autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and brentuximab vedotin, or three or more lines of systemic therapy that includes autologous HSCT. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on overall response rate. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.

In March, the company announced the CHMP recommended the approval of Opdivo as monotherapy for the treatment of squamous cell cancer of the head and neck in adults progressing on or after platinum-based therapy. The CHMP recommendation will be reviewed by the EC.

In March, the company and its partner Ono Pharmaceutical Co. announced the approval of Opdivo as monotherapy for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer in Japan.

In February, the company announced the FDA provided accelerated approval for Opdivo for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.

Clinical

In April, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, the company announced new data and analysis from studies evaluating Opdivo and the Opdivo + Yervoy regimen:

First overall survival results from CheckMate -067, a Phase 3 trial of Opdivo and the Opdivo + Yervoy regimen versus Yervoy alone in patients with previously untreated advanced melanoma. More detail of the study results is included in the original press release (link).

The first report of five-year overall survival data from the Phase 1 dose-ranging study CA209-003 evaluating Opdivo in patients with previously treated advanced non-small cell lung cancer. More detail of the study results is included in the original press release (link).

In April, the company announced CheckMate -143, a randomized Phase 3 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of Opdivo in patients with first recurrence of glioblastoma multiforme did not meet its primary endpoint of improved overall survival over bevacizumab monotherapy.

Sprycel

In February, the company announced the European Patent Office (EPO) upheld a decision finding European Patent No. 1169038 (the ‘038 patent), the Composition of Matter patent covering dasatinib, the active ingredient in Sprycel, to be invalid. The decision does not impact patents outside of the EU or other Sprycel-related patents. Additionally in February, the EPO Board of Appeal reversed and remanded an invalidity decision on European Patent No. 1610780 and its claim to the use of dasatinib to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), which the EPO’s Opposition Division had revoked in October 2012. The company intends to take appropriate legal actions to protect Sprycel.

Eliquis

In March, at the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) Annual Scientific Session, the company and its partner Pfizer Inc. announced findings from a real-world data analysis of the U.S. Medicare database comparing the risk of stroke or systemic embolism and rate of major bleeding among patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation who were treated with direct oral anticoagulants Eliquis, dabigatran or rivaroxaban versus warfarin. More detail of the analysis is included in the original press release (link).

Fibrosis

In April, at EASL: The International Liver Congress, the company announced data from a Phase 2 study of BMS-986036, an investigational pegylated analogue of human fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), a key regulator of metabolism, in patients with biopsy-confirmed non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH ) (F1-F3). The study achieved its primary endpoint of significant reduction in liver fat versus placebo, and also showed improvement in markers of liver injury and fibrosis.

FIRST QUARTER BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT UPDATE

In April, the company and Transgene announced a clinical research collaboration to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of Transgene’s investigational therapeutic vaccine TG4010 in combination with Opdivo + standard chemotherapy (CT) as a first-line treatment for advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients whose tumors have low or undetectable levels of PD-L1.

In April, the company and Apexigen, Inc. announced a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of Apexigen’s APX005M with Opdivo in patients with second-line metastatic NSCLC who have failed prior chemotherapy, and in metastatic melanoma patients who have failed prior Immuno-Oncology (I-O) therapy.

In April, the company and Nordic Bioscience announced a collaboration to develop biomarker technology to potentially aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of fibrotic diseases including NASH.

In April, the company announced it entered into two separate agreements to outlicense BMS-986168, an anti-eTau compound in development for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, to Biogen, and BMS-986089, an anti-myostatin adnectin in development for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, to Roche. The company will receive upfront payments of $300 million from Biogen and $170 million from Roche, along with potential milestone payments and royalties from each company.

In April, the company and Incyte Corporation announced an agreement to advance their clinical development program evaluating the combination of epacadostat, Incyte’s investigational oral selective IDO1 enzyme inhibitor, with Opdivo into Phase 3 registrational studies in first-line NSCLC across the spectrum of PD-L1 expression and first-line head and neck cancer. Additionally, the companies are expanding the ECHO-204 Phase 1/2 study, established under a collaboration between the companies in 2014, to include anti-PD-1/PD-L1 relapsed/refractory melanoma cohorts.

In March, the company and Foundation Medicine announced a collaboration to leverage Foundation Medicine’s comprehensive genomic profiling and molecular information solutions to identify predictive biomarkers such as Tumor Mutational Burden and Microsatellite Instability in patients enrolled across clinical trials investigating Bristol-Myers Squibb’s cancer immunotherapies.

In March, the company, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) announced a multi-year collaboration agreement to coordinate and rapidly initiate clinical I-O studies across the Parker Institute and CRI networks.

In March, the company and CytomX Therapeutics, Inc. announced an expansion of their collaboration to discover novel therapies against multiple I-O targets using CytomX’s proprietary Probody® Platform, expanding the number of targets from four to twelve.

In March, the company announced an equity investment and plans for a research collaboration with GRAIL Inc. that grants the company early access to GRAIL’s comprehensive clinical trial databases that may help improve understanding of tumor genomics. Additionally, Bristol-Myers Squibb will utilize GRAIL’s analytics tools to inform research, advance diagnostics and improve patient outcomes.

In February, the company and Exelixis, Inc. announced a clinical development collaboration to evaluate Cabometyx® (cabozantinib), Exelixis’ small molecule inhibitor of receptor tyrosine kinases, with Opdivo, either alone or in combination with Yervoy. The agreement is expected to include a Phase 3 pivotal trial in first-line renal cell carcinoma, with additional trials planned in bladder cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and potentially other tumor types.

In February, the company announced an expansion of the five-year old International Immuno-Oncology Network (II-ON) with the addition of Columbia University Medical Center and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (Peter Mac). II-ON is a global peer-to-peer collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and academia that aims to advance I-O science and translational medicine to improve patient outcomes.

SHARE REPURCHASE

In February, the company executed accelerated share repurchase (ASR) agreements to repurchase, in aggregate, $2 billion of the company’s common stock. The ASR was funded through a combination of debt and cash and is part of the company’s existing share repurchase authorization. Approximately 80 percent of the shares to be repurchased under the transaction were received by the company on February 28, 2017 and the company anticipates that all repurchases under the ASR will be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2017.

The decision reflects the company’s strong financial position and its balanced approach to capital allocation, including a commitment to its dividend and a disciplined approach to business development.

2017 FINANCIAL GUIDANCE

Bristol-Myers Squibb is increasing its 2017 GAAP EPS guidance range from $2.47- $2.67 to $2.72 – $2.87 and is increasing its non-GAAP EPS guidance range from $2.70 – $2.90 to $2.85 – $3.00. Both GAAP and non-GAAP guidance assume current exchange rates. Key revised 2017 GAAP and non-GAAP line-item guidance assumptions are:

Worldwide revenues increasing in the mid-single digits.

Research and development expenses increasing in the high-teens digit range for GAAP and increasing in the low-double digits range for non-GAAP.

An effective tax rate of approximately 22% for GAAP with non-GAAP remaining at approximately 21%.

Keytruda is a trademark of Merck & Co., Inc.

Probody Platform is a trademark of CytomX Therapeutics, Inc.

Cabometyx is a trademark of Exelixis, Inc.

 

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