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BMS records double-digit profit growth for 2011

Meanwhile the company expects new launches to counter loss of Plavix patent in 2012

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has reported an increase in net profit for 2011 of 19.6 per cent, climbing to $3.71bn from the $3.10bn it made in the previous year.

Improved sales performance helped with the increased earnings, with BMS reporting revenues that rose by 9 per cent to $21.24bn for the 12 month period.

Products that performed well for the company during 2011 included type 2 diabetes drug Onglyza/Kombiglyze (saxagliptin) which had sales growth of 110 per cent in the fourth quarter.

The drug had its European licence extended in November 2011 for use, with or without metformin, as a combination therapy with insulin to improve blood sugar control in adult patients with type 2 diabetes.

The fourth quarter also saw improved sales growth for rheumatoid arthritis treatment Orencia (27 per cent), hepatitis B treatment Baraclude (20 per cent) and the newly approved skin cancer therapy Yervoy, which made $144m during the period.

The company's results were still dominated by Plavix (clopidogrel), the blood thinner it co-markets with Sanofi.

The drug made over $7bn for BMS during 2011, although US patent protection is due to be lost in May, 2012, after a six month extension through the FDA's paediatric exclusivity programme.

With the loss of exclusivity for Plavix, BMS said it expects total worldwide sales to drop to between $17.2bn and $18.2bn for 2012, with Plavix contributing around $2.7bn.

To counter this, BMS is counting on a series of new drugs, including the newly-launched Yervoy, and blood thinner Eliquis, which is expected to be approved later this year.

The drug, co-developed with Pfizer, was accepted for priority review by the FDA in November, 2011, as a preventative treatment for stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation, but will face competition other new treatments like Bayer's Xarelto.

Lamberto Andreotti, CEO of BMS, said: “Our delivery of several important new products to patients, the ability of our productive R&D organisation to build an innovative and diverse pipeline, and our continued commitment to business development gives us confidence in our future.

“In 2012, we will build on the momentum of 2011 as we transition beyond the loss of exclusivity of Plavix and Avapro.”

30th January 2012

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