Bristol-Myers Squibb remains committed to Opdivo-Yervoy combo lung cancer treatment
PRINCETON, N.J. — Despite word a week ago that Bristol-Myers Squibb will not seek accelerated regulatory approval for a combination of its Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) as a first-line treatment for lung cancer, the company asserted it is committed to the development of the drug combination.
“We have a broad front-line lung cancer program, which we expanded and strengthened over the last several months. We have four combination front-line lung studies that are ongoing. These studies are designed with the optionality we build into all of our studies,” Bristol-Myers CEO Giovanni Caforio said Thursday during the company’s 2016 fourth-quarter earnings conference call. “We are committed to the development of the combination of Yervoy plus Opdivo. As you know, the competitive landscape in this space has changed over the last nine to 12 months, and it could very well change again based on future data readouts. We believe through our broad development program we have an opportunity to play a meaningful role in the treatment of patients in the first-line lung cancer setting. And with this in mind, our [research and development] team is focused and well-resourced in front-line lung, and is constantly looking for ways to strengthen our program and bring forward new treatments.”
Caforio added lung cancer treatment is very important to the company, but it will also focus on a broad set of priorities beyond lung cancer in 2017.
Outside of oncology, said Caforio: “We will build on the strength of the brands we've established, with Eliquis and Orencia in the near term. Longer term, we are advancing our efforts to diversify our portfolio with new pipeline agents in heart failure, immunoscience and fibrosis.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the regimen of Opdivo and Yervoy as a treatment for metastatic melanoma in October 2015.
Thrifty White rolls out diabetes support program
Johnson & Johnson to buy Actelion for $30B
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson will buy Switzerland-based Actelion for $30 billion, or $280 per Actelion share. As part of the transaction, Actelion will spin off its drug discovery operations and early-stage clinical development assets into a newly created company to its shareholders in the form of a dividend immediately prior to the deal closing.
According to J&J, the transaction, which was unanimously approved by both companies’ board of directors, is expected to be immediately accretive to its adjusted earnings per share and accelerate J&J’s revenue and earnings growth rates.
Actelion has a franchise of differentiated products for pulmonary arterial hypertension that J&J said is highly complementary to its existing portfolio of its Janssen Pharmaceutical Cos. J&J stated it expects to retain Actelion’s Switzerland presence.
“We believe this transaction offers compelling value to both Johnson & Johnson and Actelion shareholders,” said Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. “Actelion has built an attractive, growing business with world-class commercial and clinical development capabilities. Adding Actelion’s portfolio to our already strong Janssen Pharmaceuticals business is a unique opportunity for us to expand our portfolio with leading, differentiated in-market medicines and promising late-stage products. We expect to leverage our established global presence and commercial strength to accelerate growth and patient access to these important therapies.”
“I’m very proud that we have created such a unique value proposition through this structured transaction,” said Actelion Chairman Jean Pierre Garnier. “Actelion’s shareholders can monetize their holdings in Actelion at a highly attractive cash price of $280 per share, while at the same time retaining a significant stake in the future potential upside of Actelion’s earlier stage pipeline, through their ownership of R&D NewCo [the company Actelion will spin off to shareholders].”
Drug Store News reported on Dec. 29 that a J&J-Actelion deal could split the latter company into two companies.