Caforio Out, Boerner In as BMS Sees Slight Decline with Generic Competition

Pictured: BMS Flags fly under a blue sky/courtesy of Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Pictured: BMS Flags fly under a blue sky/courtesy of Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

After more than 20 years of service, Bristol Myers Squibb’s CEO and chairman Giovanni Caforio will leave his post, the company announced Wednesday.

Caforio’s resignation will take effect on Nov. 1, after which he will still stay with BMS as an executive chairman for a transition period, the duration of which will be determined by the company’s board. Christopher Boerner, the company’s current chief operating officer and former chief commercialization officer, will succeed Caforio.

The changes in leadership come as BMS reports a slight 3% dip in first-quarter earnings, as compared with the same period in 2022, according to a Thursday press release.

When he takes Caforio’s seat in November, Boerner will need to contend with one of the biopharma’s biggest patent cliffs, with three of the company’s top-earning drugs set to lose exclusivity this decade. U.S. patent protections for its anti-coagulant Eliquis (apixaban) will end later this year, for example, though BMS is currently requesting an extension until 2026. In addition, PD-1 inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab) will lose its U.S. exclusivity in 2027.

Meanwhile, the company’s multiple myeloma drug Revlimid (lenalidomide), which lost patent protection in 2022, has already seen generic competition. During its Q1 earnings call, the company attributed much of its declining revenue to generic erosion of Revlimid and foreign exchange effects. The company reported 16% lower earnings outside of the U.S., bringing in $3.3 billion in the first quarter of 2023.

Pipeline Updates

BMS’ U.S. market grew, however, with $8 billion in revenues, up 4% from the same period in 2022, according to the earnings presentation. Sales from Opdivo and Eliquis, as well as its new product portfolio including Opdualag (nivolumab and relatlimab), Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel) and Reblozyl (luspatercept), accounted for the majority of this growth.

During the earnings call, BMS representatives estimated the company would make between $10 billion and $13 billion in risk-adjusted sales by 2025 from these products. This also includes its plaque psoriasis drug Sotyktu (deucravacitinib) and heart medicine Camzyos (mavacamten).

By 2030, BMS expects to make more at least $25 billion in non-risk-adjusted revenue from this portfolio, the representatives said. 

As for its pipeline, BMS is discontinuing the early-stage development of its investigational cereblon E3 ligase modulator iberdomide in lymphoma. The molecule works by tagging specific transcription factors for destruction, thereby restricting the growth of myeloma cells. Iberdomide is currently in Phase III studies for multiple myeloma, according to BMS’s website.

The company is also making some cuts to its pipeline. It is discontinuing a Phase I lysine specific demethylase (LSD1) inhibitor for an oncology indication and ending the Phase III development of Opdivo combined with recombinant human hyaluronidase PH20, delivered subcutaneously using an auto-injector, in adjuvant melanoma.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in metro Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at tristan@tristanmanalac.com or tristan.manalac@biospace.com.

Back to news