Nivolumab, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Drug: Nivolumab
Company: Bristol-Myers Squibb
Phase: Phase III
Class: Anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) MAb
2020 sales: $6.01 billion
Net present value: $23.1 billion

There's been a considerable amount of jockeying among the leaders in the race for the first approval of a checkpoint receptor therapy. But while Merck ($MRK) will likely gain the first regulatory OK in the U.S. (nivolumab grabbed the world's first OK in Japan), Bristol-Myers ($BMY) has been spending a fortune to seal its bid as the drug company most likely to succeed in megablockbuster style. Nivolumab's top position on this list helps explain why everyone who wants to be somebody in cancer drug development either has a program in place or is angling to get there soon. To put it simply, this drug class strips cancer cells of a cloaking mechanism that keep them hidden from the immune system. It's registered some clear benefits in clinical studies and there's some evidence that BMS has outspent even Merck in its pursuit of clinical gold.

For more:
Bristol-Myers races to the FDA with immuno-oncology star nivolumab
Anti-PD-1 cancer star nivolumab wins world's first regulatory approval
Bristol-Myers wraps nivolumab PhIII cancer trial early on promising survival benefit

Nivolumab, Bristol-Myers Squibb
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