Regulatory Bristol Myers Secures Crucial FDA Approval for Treatment of...

Bristol Myers Secures Crucial FDA Approval for Treatment of Bone Marrow Disease


In a strategic move to counteract the impending patent challenges for some of its top-selling medications, Bristol Myers Squibb has achieved a significant milestone through the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of an extended indication for its drug Reblozyl. The new approval permits the utilization of Reblozyl in patients recently diagnosed with a cancer-like condition affecting the bone marrow.

Reblozyl, which entered the U.S. market in 2019 following FDA clearance for treating anemia caused by beta thalassemia, became part of Bristol Myers’ portfolio upon its acquisition of Celgene that same year. The company has been actively seeking opportunities to broaden the drug’s application scope, with a projected revenue target exceeding $4 billion globally by the close of the decade.

To achieve this ambition, Bristol Myers initiated investigations into Reblozyl’s efficacy when used in the early stages of a bone marrow disorder known as myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a collection of conditions characterized by insufficient production of healthy blood cells. These deficiencies often lead to anemia, necessitating interventions to alleviate symptoms, and in severe cases, MDS can progress to a form of leukemia.

Though the FDA sanctioned the use of Reblozyl for MDS in 2020, the authorization was contingent upon the failure of previous treatments. Additionally, access was limited to a subset of patients whose conditions exhibited specific attributes. However, a breakthrough emerged from a Phase 3 trial unveiled at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in May. This trial demonstrated that Reblozyl outperformed Epogen, a long-standing anemia treatment for MDS, particularly benefiting patients with low-risk disease prognosis who had not undergone prior treatment. These individuals experienced reduced reliance on blood transfusions when administered Reblozyl.

Building on these findings, Bristol Myers pursued an expanded U.S. approval. Of note, the FDA greenlit the drug for use in newly diagnosed patients, irrespective of their “ring sideroblasts” levels at diagnosis. Notably, the majority of recently diagnosed MDS patients lack these immature cells, which are characterized by iron-rich rings encircling their nucleus. The effectiveness of Reblozyl in these patients was less evident, prompting discussion following the data’s release.

In the aftermath of this regulatory triumph, analyst Matt Phipps of William Blair remarked that this development was highly advantageous for Bristol Myers and Reblozyl. He emphasized that the approval held immense importance for the growth of the company’s new commercial portfolio, especially considering impending drug price negotiations. Phipps alluded to Medicare’s newfound authority to curtail the cost of certain prescription drugs, a legislative alteration that affects Bristol Myers, with its blood thinner Eliquis and cancer drug Opdivo among the first batch of medications subject to these negotiations.

Bristol Myers faces the impending loss of patent protection for Eliquis and Opdivo in the United States later in the decade. These two drugs jointly generated $20 billion in sales the previous year. In light of these potential revenue losses, the company has pinned its hopes on Reblozyl, alongside cardiac drug Camzyos, cancer immunotherapy Opdualag, and autoimmune disease treatment Sotkytu, as candidates to mitigate these financial setbacks.

+ posts

Latest news

Revvity introduces advanced preclinical imaging tech for scientists to make breakthroughs

Revvity, Inc. is ushering in a new era of innovation in the realm of preclinical research by...

European Commission Approves Updated Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Omicron XBB.1.5 Variant

The European Commission has recently achieved a significant milestone in the ongoing battle against COVID-19 in preparation...

NICE gives Chiesi’s Elfabrio go ahead

Chiesi has recently garnered a favorable recommendation from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)...

Must read

Surrounded by controversy, FDA approves Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm

In the middle of the debate about the Alzheimer’s drug approval, the United States FDA has authorized Aduhelm

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you