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Bristol Myers’ Opdivo Gets FDA Approval to Treat Esophageal Cancer

Story Highlights

Opdivo, a drug developed by Bristol-Myers Squibb, has been approved to treat esophageal cancer in adults. Management sounds positive about the product.

Global biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) revealed that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its Opdivo (nivolumab) injection in combination with chemotherapy and with Yervoy (ipilimumab).

These first-line treatments are designed to treat adult patients with unresectable advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) irrespective of PD-L1 status. 

Supporting Data 

The U.S. regulator’s decision was based on results from the Phase 3 CheckMate -648 trial. The trial evaluated both treatments versus chemotherapy alone in adult patients and demonstrated improved overall survival. 

According to statistics, around 20,640 new cases of esophageal cancer are estimated to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2022, with 16,410 deaths. 

Official Comments 

SVP at Bristol Myers Squibb’s oncology department, Adam Lenkowsky, said, “At Bristol Myers Squibb, we recognize the need that exists for many patients facing upper gastroesophageal cancers, including advanced or metastatic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and we are focused on our goal to bring forward new treatment options with proven survival benefits regardless of PD-L1 status and histology.” 

Wall Street’s Take 

Recently, Wells Fargo analyst Mohit Bansal reiterated a Hold rating on the stock but lifted the price target to $70 from $65. This indicates an 8.06% downside potential from Friday’s closing price of $76.14 per share. 

Bansal expects long-term challenges to persist for the stock. In addition, he expects the new product portfolio to miss expectations of $10 billion to $13 billion by 2025. 

The rest of the Street is cautiously optimistic about the stock, with a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on seven Buys, two Holds, and two Sells. That’s alongside an average Bristol Myers Squibb price target of $78, which implies 2.44% upside potential to current levels. Shares have increased 20.7% over the past year. 

Bottom-Line 

With its innovative medicines, Bristol Myers is poised to benefit from the pharmaceutical business. Investors may consider the stock for potential gains based on recent price performance.

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