Bristol Myers expands heart drug business with $13 billion deal for MyoKardia


By Manojna Maddipatla

(Reuters) – Bristol Myers Squibb Co <BMY.N> said on Monday it would buy MyoKardia Inc <MYOK.O> for about $13 billion to bolster its portfolio of heart disease treatments, ahead of the potential loss of sales exclusivity of some of its blockbuster drugs.

The deal comes close on the heels of Bristol Myers’ $74 billion acquisition of Celgene last year, which was aimed at creating an oncology giant and shielding itself from fierce competition for its cancer immunotherapy, Opdivo, from Merck & Co’s <MRK.N> Keytruda.

Shares of MyoKardia, which have nearly doubled in value this year, surged another 57.8% to $220.31, just shy of the offer of $225 per share.

The deal will also help Bristol Myers reduce some of its dependence on cancer drugs and give it access to Myokardia’s lead heart drug candidate with blockbuster potential, mavacamten, adding to its existing portfolio of heart drugs that includes blood thinner Eliquis.

Eliquis, which made up about 21% of the company’s total sales in the latest reported quarter, faces U.S. market exclusivity loss after 2026. The company’s top-selling cancer drug, Revlimid, will also lose some of its U.S. patent exclusivity in 2022.

Bristol Myers said it expects mavacamten to be a “multi-billion dollar asset” and drive significant growth through 2025 and the second half of the decade.

“I think it is a typical acquisition premium for our sales expectations for mavacamten as we had estimates in the initial (and lowest risk) indication of obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) of about $2.5 billion by 2026,” said Wedbush analyst David Nierengarten, referring to the 61% premium offered by Bristol Myers.

Mavacamten is being developed to treat obstructive and non-obstructive forms of a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – estimated to affect one in every 500 people globally.

MyoKardia expects to submit marketing application to the U.S. health regulator for obstructive HCM in the first quarter of 2021 after the drug met the main goal of a late-stage study.

The company said the MyoKardia purchase would add to its earnings beginning in 2023.

(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Sriraj Kalluvila)