As pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb prepares for the impending expiration of patent protection on its flagship heart attack and stroke medication, Plavix, the company has taken itself out of the running for producing a generic version of the drug and will instead focus on developing the industry's next innovation.
According to San Diego Biotechnology, Bristol-Myers Squibb has generated approximately $6.6 billion in annual revenue from Plavix. As the product comes off patent, there is hope that an influx of manufacturers intent on producing a generic equivalent will help drive down prices for consumers. But as this trend unfolds over the next few months, the company will instead shift its focus to the long term in the hopes of triggering another important market development in years to come.
Last week, the drugmaker announced a new five-year partnership with the Scripps Research Institute.
"[This agreement] serves as a great example of how we will engage corporate partners in both understanding and treating disease," Scripps CEO Michael Marletta explained. "I look with anticipation to the outcome of this multi-lab collaboration."
While financial considerations have not been confirmed, officials on both sides have acknowledged that the joint venture will focus on applying "novel chemistry" to the discovery and synthesis of new drug treatments.