Big Pharma’s Growth Initiatives in 2023: Part 2

More coverage of the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, where bio/pharma industry executives highlighted their companies’ strategies and key growth initiatives. What are more highlights?

More coverage of the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco earlier this month, where bio/pharma industry executives highlighted their companies’ strategies and key growth initiatives. What are more highlights?

Executives outline company growth strategies
In Part I of our coverage of the large bio/pharmaceutical companies presenting at the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference held earlier this month (January 9 to 12, 2023), we highlighted the growth strategies provided by senior executives from Pfizer, Novartis, AbbVie, Merck & Co., Sanofi, and GlaxoSmithKline. In Part II of our coverage, highlights from AstraZeneca,Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Amgen are outlined below.

AstraZeneca. Aradhana Sarin, Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer at AstraZeneca highlighted the company’s revenue growth target in the low double-digit as measure by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2025. Its therapeutic focus is in three main growth areas: oncology; biopharmaceuticals, which includes three main areas: cardiovascular, renal & metabolism; respiratory &

Immunology; and vaccines & Immune therapies. Through the first nine months of 2022, the company saw revenue growth in these areas of 37%, and is targeting both organic and external growth to drive revenue. Illustrative of that growth strategy, the company announced at the JP Morgan Conference earlier this month (January 2023), a $1.8-deal billion acquisition of CinCor Pharma, a Waltham, Massachusetts-based clinical-stage bio/pharmaceutical company, to build its portfolio in cardiovascular, renal & metabolism products. CinCor’s lead candidate is baxdrostat in Phase II development for treating treatment-resistant hypertension, primary aldosteronism (a disorder in which adrenal glands make too much of a hormone,  aldosterone, which regulates blood pressure) and chronic kidney disease. Baxdrostat is an oral small- molecule inhibitor of aldosterone synthase, the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of aldosterone in the adrenal gland. A Phase III trial for treatment-resistant hypertension is planned for the first half of 2023. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Bristol-Myers Squibb. Chris Boerner, PhD, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercialization Officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb outlined the company’s growth strategy through 2025. The company expects low-to-mid single digit revenue CAGR. This growth target breaks down as $8 billion to $10 billion in growth from inline products, primarily from its immuno-oncology products and its anticoagulant Eliquis (apixaban) and $10 billion to $13 billion from its new product portfolio. A key asset in its new product portfolio is Camzyos (mavacamten), which was approved in the US in 2022 for treating a specific type of cardiomyopathy, and for which the company is estimating $4 billion in sales potential by 2030.  The company anticipates approval in the European Union in 2023.

Amgen. Robert Bradway, Chairman and CEO of Amgen emphasized the value of the company’s growth strategy in light of evolving macroeconomic conditions and health policy environment, particularly in the US. He said the company’s portfolio of products are well suited for volume-driven growth in a declining net price environment due to its focus on biologics, its strong manufacturing capabilities, and the ability to adapt to the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law in the US in 2022 and puts forth certain drug pricing reforms in the US. He added that compressed sector valuations, rising costs of capital for smaller companies, and the scarcity of funding create opportunities for strategic business development.

Bradway also highlighted two acquisitions made by the company to build its product portfolio in rare diseases. The first is the company’s pending $28.3-billion acquisition of Horizon Therapeutics, a Dublin, Ireland-based bio/pharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases. Horizon has 12 marketed medicines and a pipeline with more than 20 development programs. Its top commercial product is Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw), a drug for treating thyroid eye disease, which had 2021 sales of $1.66 billion. Its second best-selling product is Krystexxa (pegloticase), a drug for treating gout, which had 2021 sales of $565 million. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2023, subject to receipt of Horizon shareholder approval and customary regulatory approvals. 

Bradway also highlighted the company’s $3.7-billion acquisition of ChemoCentryx,  a San Carlos, California-based bio/pharmaceutical company developing oral drugs to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders, and cancer, primarily for orphan and rare diseaseas. The deal was completed in October 2022 and Bradway said integration is progressing. ChemoCentryx is focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of small-molecule therapeutics that target the chemoattractant system. Discrete chemokine or chemoattractant receptors play a specific role in how certain diseases progress. Each of its drug candidates focuses on a specific chemokine or chemoattractant receptor that blocks the negative inflammatory or suppressive response driven by that particular receptor while leaving the rest of the immune system intact. ChemoCentryx has one commercial product, Tavneos (avacopan), a drug to treat anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis, an umbrella term for a group of multi-system autoimmune diseases with small-vessel inflammation. In addition to Tavneos, ChemoCentryx has three early-stage drug candidates that target chemoattractant receptors in other inflammatory diseases and an oral checkpoint inhibitor for cancer.

Amgen’s therapeutic focus is on three main areas: inflammation, oncology, and general medicine, and Bradway highlighted 11 drugs in these areas as key revenue drivers that accounted for combined global sales of $10.5 billion through the first nine months of 2022.  Key revenue drivers in inflammation are Otezia (apremilast) for treating certain types of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and Tezspire (tezepelumab-ekko) for treating certain types of asthma. Six key products in oncology had combined 11% volume growth in the first nine months of 2022. These were: Lumakras (sotorasib) for treating KRAS G12C-mutated locally advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer; Kyprolis (carfilzomib) for treating multiple myeloma; Xgeva (denosumab) for treating treatment-induced bone loss, metastases to the bone, and giant cell tumors of the bone; Vectibix (panitumumab) for treating wild-type RAS metastatic colorectal cancer; Nplate (romiplostim) for treating low blood platelet counts in immune thrombocytopenia associated with spleen removal; and Blincyto (blinatumomab) for treating a certain type of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Key revenue drivers in general medicine are: Repatha (evolocumab) for treating hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol); Prolia (denosumab) for treating osteoporosis; and Evenity (romosozumab) for treating osteoporosis.

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