Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY)

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Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

April 28, 2011 10:30 am ET


Beatrice Cazala - Member of Management Council, President of Global Commercialization and President of Europe Operations

Tony Hooper - Member of Management Council, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations and President of US Japan and Intercontinental

Charles Bancroft - Chief Financial Officer and Member of Management Council

Elliott Sigal - Chief Scientific Officer, President of Research & Development, Executive Vice President, Member of Management Council, Director, Member of Executive Committee and Member of Science & Technology Committee

Lamberto Andreotti - Chief Executive Officer, Member of Management Council, Director, Member of Science & Technology Committee and Member of Executive Committee

John Elicker - Investor Relations Executive


David Risinger - Morgan Stanley

Catherine Arnold - Crédit Suisse AG

John Boris - Citigroup Inc

Tim Anderson - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc.

Jami Rubin - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Steve Scala - Cowen and Company, LLC

Christopher Schott - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Gregory Gilbert - BofA Merrill Lynch

Seamus Fernandez - Leerink Swann LLC

Marc Goodman - UBS Investment Bank

Charles Butler - Barclays Capital



Good day, and welcome to today's First Quarter Earnings 2011 Earnings Release Conference Call. This call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Mr. John Elicker, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations. Please go ahead, Mr. Elicker.

John Elicker

Thank you, Celia, and good morning, everybody. Thanks for joining us. We're here to discuss our first quarter earnings release. And with me for prepared remarks are Lamberto Andreotti, our Chief Executive Officer; Charlie Bancroft, our Chief Financial Officer. Also joining for Q&A are Beatrice Cazala and Tony Hooper, both of whom are on our Commercial Operations; and Elliott Sigal, our Chief Scientific Officer.

Before we get started, let me take care of the legal requirement. During this call, we will make statements about the company's future plans and prospects that constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the Safe Harbor provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including those discussed in the company's most recent annual report on Form 10-K and reports on 10-Q and Form 8-K. These documents are available from the SEC, the BMS website or from Bristol-Myers Squibb Investor Relations.

In addition, any forward-looking statements represent our estimates only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing our estimates as of any subsequent date. While we may elect to update forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so even if our estimates change. Lamberto?

Lamberto Andreotti

Well, thank you, John. Good morning, everyone. We have just completed a very strong quarter. One that clearly demonstrates that our biopharma strategy is working. Our financials were strong. Our pipeline continues to deliver, and of course, YERVOY was approved and launched in the U.S. Taken together, I am very encouraged with our results.

Before discussing some recent highlights, just want to note that our operations in Japan continued unabated. Our shipments and sales were unaffected, and most importantly, our colleagues were spared any physical harm. In fact, our first-rate management team and our staff of dedicated employees have demonstrated extraordinary resolve through this entire crisis. Nonetheless, we continue to monitor our operations in Japan, and we'll update as appropriate.

So with that, let me begin with the most exciting development of the quarter, YERVOY. On March 25, the FDA approved YERVOY for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. This was great news for our company and for the many patients who will benefit from this breakthrough treatment, first such therapy to demonstrate a significant overall survival benefit.

The FDA's decision is a major accomplishment for Bristol-Myers Squibb. It concerns our strong position in oncology and establishes our leadership in immune oncology. It demonstrates the value of our Medarex acquisition in particular, and our String of Pearls initiative in general. And it strengthens our vision of BMS as a benchmark biopharma company. As you know, YERVOY became commercially available in the U.S. in early April, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Let me give you a few of examples of this response.

First, the NCCN guidelines, which were updated on April 13, now lists YERVOY as a category one choice for metastatic melanoma. This is important, not only with respect to the speed with which it was done, but also because this will help facilitate reimbursement by the managed healthcare companies.

Second example, we have already met with or are scheduled to meet with most of the key commercial accounts. Third and very important, physician interest has been particularly strong. In fact, our customers grant our people much more time than usual. Well, it is not very common, as you know, nowadays, in the pharma world.

And finally, activity on the website and at the call center has been very busy. Moreover, to improve our ability to execute commercially, we are utilizing a new customer model. One that takes a more holistic, more informed approach to the process by focusing on all aspects of the patient's journey and all of the customers involved, including physicians, nurses, payers, hospitals and of course, patients. This customer model, along with our patient-assistance programs, will help to make YERVOY widely available through thousands of Americans who suffer this terrible disease.

As you also know, we have announced that a second Phase III clinical trial of YERVOY known as study 024 met its primary endpoint of improving overall survival in previously untreated patients with metastatic melanoma. The data has been submitted to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, ASCO, and we are hoping to present this at the annual meeting in June. And finally, outside of the U.S., YERVOY is currently under review in Europe, where we are expecting a decision later this year, followed by decisions in Australia, Canada and other countries as well.

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