bristol myers squibb office
Source: Glassdoor

The shares of Bristol-Myers Squibb are plummeting today due to the disappointing test results in the late-stage study (CheckMate -026) for its cancer treatment Opdivo (nivolumab).

The stock price Bristol-Myers declined more than 15% to $63.58 per share around 1:29 in the afternoon in New York on Friday, August 5.

According to the pharmaceutical company, CheckMate-026 was designed to answer the question about the benefit of Opdivo monotherapy in a broad patient population. Unfortunately, the trial did not meet the primary end-point of progression-free survival in patients with previously untreated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors expressed PD-L1 at ≥ 5%.

In a statement, Bristol-Myers said, “While today’s news regarding CheckMate -026 is disappointing, Bristol-Myers Squibb is proud of all that the company has and aims to accomplish with Opdivo. We are indeed transforming cancer care, and remain committed to bringing the benefit of our medicines to the greatest number of patients across multiple cancers.”

Bristol-Myers is relentlessly pursuing treatments to defeat cancer

Bristol-Myers is also exploring the potential of the combination of Opdivo plus Yervoy for PDL-1 positive patients and Opdivo plus Yervoy or Opdivo plus chemotherapy in PD-LI negative patients through its ongoing study CheckMate 227.

“We believe that combination therapy may provide an important opportunity to address the needs of every patient with first-line lung cancer. Everyone at Bristol-Myers Squibb is relentless in our pursuit to defeat cancer and bring transformational medicines to patients who are waiting,” according to the pharmaceutical company.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already approved Opdivo to treat patients with certain types of cancer.  Bristol Meyers generated sales of $840 million from Opdivo in the recent quarter.

High expectations

In a note to investors, Evercore ISI biotech and pharmaceuticals analyst Dr. Mark Schoenebaum, commented that the result of the Opdivo trial was a “major surprise” and probably the “biggest clinical surprise” in his career.

He added that investors had high expectation for the Opdivo clinical trial and the consensus estimate is that Bristol-Myers will generate sales of around $12 billion by 2021 from the cancer treatment.


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