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Bristol Myers Squibb Reports Double-Digit Increase in Opdivo, Yervoy Sales in Q1

NEW YORK – Bristol Myers Squibb on Friday reported a 5 percent increase in Q1 2022 revenues with double-digit sales growth for its checkpoint inhibitors Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) and steady sales of its cell therapies.

The New York-based company generated $11.65 billion in sales for the three months ending March 31, compared to $11.07 billion in Q1 2021. The company beat analysts' average revenue estimate of $11.36 billion.

Sales of BMS's checkpoint inhibitors Opdivo and Yervoy increased by double-digits in the first quarter compared to Q1 2021 sales. Opdivo, the top-seller among BMS's oncology products, brought in $1.92 billion in global sales in Q1, a 12 percent increase from $1.72 billion in Q1 2021.

Much of that growth came from the US market, where Opdivo sales jumped 16 percent to $1.10 billion from $944 million last year. On a call to discuss the company's financials, BMS CFO David Elkins said Opdivo's demand in the US was particularly strong in first-line lung, renal, and gastric cancers, as well as in adjuvant esophageal and bladder cancer settings.

In February, the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use issued positive opinions for two biomarker-defined Opdivo indications. The regulator recommended Opdivo's approval in combination with chemotherapy for PD-L1-positive unresectable advanced, recurrent, or metastatic esophageal cancer, and as a single-agent adjuvant treatment for PD-L1-positive muscle-invasive urothelial cancer.

Yervoy saw a 13 percent increase in global sales during Q1 2022, bringing in $515 million compared to $456 million in the same period last year. In the US, Yervoy sales increased 6 percent, from $294 million in Q1 2021 to $311 million in Q1 2022.

In the first quarter, BMS also received US Food and Drug Administration approval for its third immuno-oncology agent, Opdualag, which is a combination of Opdivo and the LAG-3 inhibitor relatlimab, for metastatic melanoma. The company is studying the drug in various all-comer and biomarker-defined patient populations, including in mismatch repair-deficient and microsatellite instability-high cancers, as well as in LAG-3 and PD-L1 expressing tumors.

Sales of BMS's autologous cell therapies also increased in Q1. Breyanzi (lisocabtagene maraleucel), its CD19-directed CAR T-cell therapy approved in the US in February 2021 for relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma, recorded sales of $44 million. Elkins noted that Breyanzi also increased its market share among other drugs in its class during Q1 and now has penetrated roughly 20 percent to 25 percent of the eligible patient population.

This month, the European Commission approved Breyanzi for the treatment of relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, and follicular lymphoma grade 3B after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

"We are very pleased with the recent EU approval for Breyanzi in third-line-plus large B-cell lymphoma and look forward to launching in select markets in 2022," Elkins said. "Additionally, we are preparing for the US launch of Breyanzi in second-line large B-cell lymphoma in June and are ramping up capacity in order to treat more patients."

The company reported $67 million in sales of Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel), the anti-BCMA cell therapy that was approved in 2021 for heavily treated relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma patients. Elkins said that the company is still working to increase manufacturing capacity for the CAR T-cell therapy and expects to have expanded capacity by the middle of this year.

BMS reported Q1 2022 net earnings of $1.28 billion, or $.59 per share, compared to $2.03 billion, or $.89 per share, for the same period last year. The firm reported non-GAAP EPS of $1.96, beating analysts' average estimate of $1.91.

In the first quarter, BMS's R&D spend increased 2 percent to $2.26 billion in Q1 2022 compared to $2.22 in Q1 2021. The company's marketing, selling, and administrative expenses during the same period were $1.83 billion, around a 10 percent increase from $1.67 billion Q1 2021.

As of March 31, BMS had $14.97 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable debt securities.

The company also revised its 2022 guidance. The company previously predicted a low single-digit increase in 2022 net sales but now expects its full-year sales to be in line with 2021 net sales. BMS also adjusted its previously projected non-GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $7.65 and $7.95 to a new range of $7.44 and $7.74.