Bristol-Myers Squibb to Buy Celgene for $74 Billion
Bristol-Myers Squibb to Buy Celgene for $74 Billion

Bristol-Myers Squibb to Buy Celgene for $74 Billion

The deal between the two biopharmaceutical giants will boost the purchaser’s cancer drug portfolio.

Jan 3, 2019
Catherine Offord

 ABOVE: FLICKR, A 4

Global pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire biotech company Celgene for approximately $74 billion, according to an announcement made today (January 3). The deal, which will see Bristol-Myers Squibb assimilate Celgene’s portfolio of therapies for indications in oncology, inflammation, and immunology, spells the consolidation of two of the largest makers of cancer medicines. 

“We will also benefit from an expanded early- and late-stage pipeline that includes six expected near-term product launches,” Giovanni Caforio, chairman and CEO of Bristol, says in the statement.

Five of those six products come from Celgene, and all but one are related to cancer treatment. They include two CAR T-cell therapies that Celgene acquired when it bought biotech company Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion last year, a small-molecule drug for the blood cancer myelofibrosis, and a protein therapeutic being investigated in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes—a group of blood cancers—as well as in patients with the inherited blood disorder β-thalassemia.

See “Sanofi and Celgene Spent $20 Billion in Major Biotech Acquisitions

The announcement follows a difficult period for the two companies. Clinical and regulatory failures forced Celgene’s shares down nearly 40 percent during the course of 2018. Meanwhile, Bristol’s cancer medication nivolumab (Opdivo) has faced competition from Merck’s pembrolizumab (Keytruda), which received regulatory approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in November.

See “Immunotherapy Drug Shows Promise for Melanoma, Lung Cancer

Celgene’s shares jumped more than 30 percent to $88.95 in premarket trading following the news, Reuters reports, while Bristol’s shares fell 9.5 percent to $47.10.