Global Processing

Bristol-Myers, Japanese drugmaker expand deal

April 6, 2009
Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. has struck a deal with a Japanese partner to extend their partnership on one drug by 2 1/2 years and to collaborate on two others, reported by the Associated Press. New York-based Bristol-Myers and Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. are prolonging until 2015 a deal to share revenue and marketing costs for the blockbuster psychiatric drug Abilify, which Otsuka discovered. That partnership was to end in November 2012, about six months after Bristol''s top seller, blood thinner Plavix, gets generic competition. Otsuka and Bristol-Myers have shared the marketing of Abilify since 1999. The drug is approved for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. With the new agreement, the Abilify deal will run until it loses patent protection around April 2015. Company officials would not say how much that would increase revenue from Abilify. It had about $3 billion in global sales in 2008, 65 percent of which went to Bristol-Myers Squibb, which also bore all marketing and continuing research costs. Under the new deal, starting next January Bristol-Myers'' share of Abilify revenue will drop steadily to 51.5 percent in 2012, but Otsuka will pay 30 percent of marketing and further research costs. Otsuka will pay half those costs from 2013 through the loss of patent protection in 2015; during those three years, Bristol-Myers will get half of all sales up to $2.7 billion and a smaller share of any additional sales. Meanwhile, the companies agreed to share revenue and marketing and further development costs for two Bristol cancer drugs, Sprycel and Ixempra. Sprycel, which had about $400 million in 2008 sales, is approved for treating two types of leukemia and is in final-stage testing for prostate cancer. Ixempra, launched at the end of 2007, had about $100 million in sales last year. It is approved for treating advanced breast cancer after patients have failed on other types of cancer drugs, and is in early human testing for prostate cancer.