Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) was formed from a merger of two old-line pharma companies more than a quarter century ago. At the time, it was a powerhouse. It began to hit much harder times in the late '90s and was forced to reinvent itself in the '00s. Unusually, in a compliment to management, it has been able to do so via its "string of pearls" acquisition strategy. This turned BMY into what is largely a biotech.
Probably the most important deal was to acquire Medarex. The shrunken BMY launched the novel oral anticoagulant Eliquis a few years ago in competition with Bayer's (OTCPK:BAYRY) Xarelto, which is marketed in the US by Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ). As a smaller player lacking much of the marketing clout and know-how, BMY turned to Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) to assist with marketing the product. PFE took the ball and did what it knows best - which is devise a brilliant marketing strategy that took Eliquis to first place, with worldwide revenues up 50% yoy to $2.3 billion in the first half of 2017.