Bristol Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) compete against each other in the marketplace every day. However, the two big drugmakers are also working together to develop a new blood thinner. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on Nov. 16, 2021, Motley Fool contributors Keith Speights and Brian Orelli discuss the prospects for this experimental drug.
Keith Speights: Bristol Myers Squibb and Johnson & Johnson compete head-to-head in the blood thinner market. Bristol has Eliquis, which is the market leader. Johnson & Johnson has Xarelto.
But the companies teamed up a few years ago, I think three years ago, to develop a next-generation blood thinner. They just reported some interesting results from a phase 2 study. Brian, what's your take on those results?
Brian Orelli: The drug is called milvexian, it inhibits a protein called factor XIa. The study looked at patients who are undergoing knee surgery. Then the drug significantly lowered the rate of venous thromboembolism. That's the blood clots in the veins. The rate was 7% for Milvexian and then 21 percent for Lovenox, which I believe is available as a generic right now.
Eliquis and Xarelto attack protein called factor Xa, and they do that quite well and lower the rates of blood clots quite well, but it also causes bleeding. Then Milvexian didn't seem to have any of those issues, there were no major bleeds.
In the clinical trial though it was a fairly relatively small phase 2 compared to what they have to do for phase 3. They're testing it in stroke. That data is expected in the first half of 2022, then they're going to make the decision on what to do for phase 3.
I would like to see them probably do a head-to-head against Eliquis and Xarelto. I think that would probably be a better comparison than Lovenox. We'll have to wait and see long-term what this drug does. But so far it seems to be doing what they were hoping it would do, which is lower blood clots but not have issues with bleeding.
Speights: This is a great example of coopetition. In the biopharmaceutical world, these companies compete head-to-head, but now they are partnering on new drugs. This will be an interesting story to watch.