The acquisition brings together two of the largest drugmakers in the country, both of which are major players in biopharma, particularly oncology.
The new year saw its first major biopharma deal Thursday as New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb said it would acquire Summit, New Jersey-based Celgene.
The $74 billion cash and stock deal brings together two of the world’s largest biopharma companies, with respective market caps of $85.6 billion and $46.6 billion and leading positions in several key therapeutic areas, particularly in oncology.
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s stock was down 8 percent in premarket trading on the New York Stock Exchange following the news, while shares of Celgene were up 34 percent on the Nasdaq. BMS’s stock opened down 9.6 percent from its Wednesday closing price, while Celgene’s was up 31 percent.
The deal comes a year after Celgene made its own major acquisition, of Seattle-based CAR-T therapy maker Juno Therapeutics. That deal, worth $9 billion, beefed up Celgene’s immuno-oncology cell therapy portfolio, which already included bb2121 for multiple myeloma. Celgene is developing bb2121 under a partnership with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based bluebird bio.
For its part, Bristol-Myers Squibb is also a major player in immuno-oncology, with the PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo, one of the first approved drugs in its class. Meanwhile, Celgene’s main cash show is Revlimid, an immunomodulating drug – or IMiD – with Food and Drug Administration approval for multiple myeloma, myelodysplastic syndrome that carries a certain genetic mutation called deletion-5q and mantle cell lymphoma.
The companies said that combining their portfolios creates “leading oncology franchises” in solid tumors and hematology-oncology, particularly due to the aforementioned Opdivo and Revlimid, along with BMS’s CTLA4 inhibitor Yervoy and Celgene’s IMiD Pomalyst. In addition, they said, it creates one of the largest immunology and inflammation franchises, with BMS’s rheumatoid arthritis treatment Orencia and Celgene’s Otezla, an IMiD used to treat severe plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Together, they said, the deal means a combined nine products that have more than $1 billion in annual sales, along with growth potential in oncology, immunology and inflammation and cardiovascular disease. BMS markets the atrial fibrillation drug Eliquis.
Date: January 7, 2019