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Friday, March 5, 2010

Bristol-Myers Plans to Release 5 New Drugs by 2012


Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said it plans to introduce five new drugs, including treatments for cancer, diabetes and heart disease, by 2012, as its top-selling medicine, the blood-thinner Plavix, loses patent protection.

The company also said today in a statement that earnings, excluding some costs, will drop to as low as $1.95 a share in 2013 from projected 2010 profit, topping the average estimate of analyst by 7 cents.

The five new drugs may generate more than $4 billion by 2016, according Seamus Fernandez, an analyst with Leerink Swann & Co. Bristol-Myers is meeting with investors today in New York to detail its plan to overcome the loss of as much as $11 billion in annual sales to generic competition over the next six years. Lamberto Andreotti, 59, named March 2 to replace Chief Executive Officer James Cornelius in May, said he will make acquisitions and has as much as $10 billion to spend.

“Like other drug companies, Bristol-Myers may also acquire its way to its stated financial targets if needed,” Tim Anderson, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, said today in a note to investors. “Although it has been steadfast in saying it would only pursue smaller deals as part of its ‘string of pearls’ approach, we continue to wonder whether a larger transaction might ultimately occur.”

New treatments expected to reach the market are apixaban for blood clots, belatacept for kidney transplants, brivanib for cancer, dapagliflozin for diabetes and ipilimumab for skin cancer, the New York-based drugmaker said today in statement.

Skin Cancer Drug

Bristol-Myers said it plans to seek regulatory approval this year for the experimental melanoma treatment ipilimumab. The company may also ask regulators to clear an added use of its cancer drug Sprycel and an injectable form of Orencia for rheumatoid arthritis.

Copies of the company’s top-selling Plavix and the blood- pressure medicine Avapro are set to flood the market in 2012, erasing $7.4 billion in sales, or about 40 percent of 2009 revenue. Plavix generated $6.1 billion of those sales. The company will lose an additional $3 billion in annual revenue from its antipsychotic Abilify by 2016 from generic competition.

Sales of the HIV treatment Sustiva are also expected to fall by $800 million from 2014 to 2015, according to Steve Scala, an analyst with Cowen & Co.

In 2013, analysts were expecting Bristol-Myers to report earnings of $1.88 a share, on average, according to a survey by Bloomberg. Bristol-Myers said it plans to have “sustained growth” starting in 2014. The company projects 2010 adjusted earnings of $2.15 a share to $2.25 a share.

The earnings estimate for 2013 excludes the potential impact of legislation overhauling the health-care system and acquisitions or licensing deals, the company said in the today’s statement. It also assumes additional cost cutting, strong sales of its current products, and U.S. approval of medicines now in late-stage testing.