Friday, April 17, 2015

Opdivo® Developing An "Embarrassment of Riches" -- In Oncology 2015

This is great news for BMS -- another lung cancer study stopped early due to great outcomes. As I've said, and said repeatedly, Opdivo® is the one to beat. It is now stretching that nine month lead to nearly a full year's lead -- in lung cancers, over Kenilworth.

Here is the news that had BMS rising -- in a falling sector on the NYSE today (courtesy a WSJ beat blogger) -- do go read it all:

. . . .[Bristol Myers Squibb] said it halted a phase-three clinical trial for Opdivo in patients with a form of advanced lung cancer due to an improvement in overall survival rates. A study to treat a different form of lung cancer with Opdivo was also stopped in January, and Bristol-Myers received approval for that indication just seven weeks later.

For now, the news puts Bristol-Myers ahead of Merck, Roche, and AstraZeneca, who are developing similar drugs. Since cancer treatments command high prices, the stakes are high: Morningstar expects the immuno-oncology market will grow beyond $33 billion in annual sales by 2022. Because first-mover cancer drugs tend to have a competitive advantage, it expects Opdivo will generate $12.2 billion in annual sales by then. . . .

As my graphic at right implies, this leaves BMS with a hard but optimistic problem: how stridently does it lobby FDA to grant compassionate use, even prior to full approval in the other cancers? That is a question for the ages.

Now, do go out and have a joyous Spring weekend, one and all. I'm going to enjoy the wide open spaces, on a mountain bike. . . for certain.

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