In what would be a merger of oncological drug producing heavyweights, Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to buy Celgene for $74 billion. BMS shareholders will own 69% of the combined company, with Celgene shareholders owning the remaining 31%, Stat reports this morning.
BMS’s chief executive Giovanni Caforio will head the merged entity. He said in a statement that “together with Celgene, we are creating an innovative biopharma leader, with leading franchises and a deep and broad pipeline that will drive sustainable growth and deliver new options for patients across a range of serious diseases.”
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that the merged company will sell nine medications with more than $1 billion each in annual sales. Most notable among those pharmaceuticals are “Celgene’s multiple myeloma drug Revlimid, which had $7.1 billion in sales through the first nine months of 2018, and Bristol’s lung-cancer treatment Opdivo, which had $4.9 billion over that same period,” the WSJ reports.
The merger helps both companies, which have seen recent setbacks. The FDA has delayed ruling on BMS’s drug application for a new drug that combines Opdivo with Yervoy. Meanwhile, Celgene’s share price fell 39% last year following its $9 billion acquisition of Juno Therapeutics and concerns that Revlemid will lose its patent protection in the U.S.