WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk on the Street"
Following is the unofficial transcript of CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with CNBC's Meg Tirrell and Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Dr. Giovanni Caforio on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" live from the ASCO conference today. Following is a link to the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000384566.
All references must be sourced to CNBC.
MEG TIRRELL: DR. GIOVANNI CAFORIO, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. SO YOU GUYS THE BIGGEST MOVER TODAY, YOUR STOCK UP 3.5% LAST I CHECKED, BUT YOU HAD A TOUGH DAY ON FRIDAY. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THAT DATA IN LUNG CANCER AND HOW YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE INTERPRETING IT.
GIOVANNI CAFORIO: LET ME JUST SAY I HAVE BEEN AT ASCO SINCE FRIDAY THERE IS A LOT OF EXCITEMENT WITH PHYSICIANS AND PATIENT ADVOCATES ABOUT OUR DATA WITH OPDIVO AND LUNG CANCER. IT REALLY POSITIONS OPDIVO AS A FOUNDATIONAL MEDICINE IN LUNG CANCER, MELANOMA, AND THE DATA IS REALLY EXCITING. WE'VE SHOWN THAT IN SOME PATIENTS WITH NON SQUAMOUS LUNG CANCER, WHICH IS THE MOST COMMON FORM OF THE DISEASE, OPDIVO DOUBLES SURVIVAL. THAT'S UNPRECEDENTED DATA. IN NON-SQUAMOUS LUNG CANCER ALMOST DOUBLING THE SURVIVAL AT ONE NEAR, AND OPDIVO WAS THE FIRST PRODUCT TO BE APPROVED BY THE FDA. IN MARCH WE HAD A POSITIVE OPINION IN EUROPE JUST A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, SO THE DATA REALLY VALIDATES OUR STRATEGY AND OPDIVO AS A FOUNDATIONAL MEDICINE.
TIRRELL: TELL US WHERE WE STAND RIGHT NOW WITH BIOMARKERS, THIS IS A KEY MESSAGE HERE AT THE MEETING IDENTIFYING WHICH PATIENTS HAVE THESE SIGNATURES ON THEIR TUMORS, MAYBE SAYING WHICH DRUGS WILL WORK BEST FOR THEM, WHICH WON'T BUT HOW DEVELOPED ARE THOSE AND IS THAT GOING TO BE A KEY PART OF YOUR STRATEGY GOING FORWARD?
CAFORIO: SO OUR STRATEGY MEG WITH BIOMARKERS IS VERY CLEAR. WE ARE STUDYING A BROAD POPULATION OF PATIENTS IN ORDER TO REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT THE ROLE OF BIOMAKERS IS. AND WHAT WE ARE DISCOVERING IS THAT IT IS A CONTINUUM. IT VARIES BY TUMOR, IT VARIES BY LINE OF THERAPY, SO, FOR EXAMPLE, IN A GROUP OF PATIENTS WITH NON-SQUAMOUS LUNG CANCER, OPDIVO DOUBLES SURVIVAL, BUT IN A BROAD PATIENT POPULATION, IT WAS ALSO ACTIVE. WE HAVE A BIOMARKER TEST. WE WILL CONTINUE TO INVESTIGATE THE ROLE OF BIOMARKERS. AGAIN OUR STRATEGY HAS BEEN VALIDATED.
TIRRELL: RIGHT NOW IT SEEMS LIKE THE MESSAGE OUT OF THE MEETING IS USE THE DRUG REGARDLESS OF THE BIOMARKERS TEST RIGHT NOW?
CAFORIO: WHAT WE ARE LEARING IS THAT IT IS A CONTINUUM, IT VARIES BY TUMOR AND CLEARLY THERE ARE MANY PATIENTS THAT RESPOND REGARDLESS OF THE LEVEL OF EXPRESSION OF THIS ONE BIOMARKER PD-L1
TIRRELL: A BIG TOPIC HERE ALSO IS PRICE AND YOU GUYS WERE FRONT AND CENTER IN THE WSJ STORY TODAY ABOUT YOUR COMBINATION OF DRUGS. HOW ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT PRICING COMBINATIONS DO WE NEED NEW WAYS OF PRICING CANCER DRUGS?
CAFORIO: SO OBVIOUSLY WE ARE VERY FOCUSED ON ENSURING THAT OUR PATIENTS HAVE ACCESS TO OUR MEDICINES. THESE ARE VERY VALUABLE MEDICINES THEY PROLONG SURVIVAL. JUST THINK ABOUT 40 YEARS AGO THERE WAS REALLY NO HOPE FOR PATIENTS WITH MELANOMA. YESTERDAY THERE WAS DATA PRESENTED WITH OPDIVO AND YERVOY IN COMBINATION, 60% RESPONSE RATE. INCREDIBLE PROGRESS, DOUBLING SURVIVAL IN SOME PATIENTS WITH LUNG CANCER, THERE WAS REALLY NOT MUCH INNOVATION BEFORE, SO IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS VALUABLE MEDICINES ARE AVAILABLE TO PATIENTS. OUR EXPERIENCE IN WORKING EVERY DAY VERY PROACTIVELY WITH VARIOUS PROVIDERS IS THAT IN THE PRESENCE OF TRUE INNOVATION FOR REALLY VALUABLE MEDICINES, PATIENTS HAVE ACCESS, AND WE HAVE A VERY COMPREHENSIVE REIMBURSEMENT SUPPORT PROGRAM, PATIENTS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. WE ARE THINKING ABOUT HOW TO GET OUR MEDICINES TO PATIENTS EVERY DAY.
TIRRELL: I WANT TO ASK YOU MORE BROADLY, AS YOU HAVE JUST TAKEN OVER THE CEO ROLE, HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT BRISTOL-MYERS' STRATEGY GOING FORWARD, PARTICULARLY IN BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. DO YOU SEE MAKING BIG ACQUISITIONS DOING MORE PARTNERSHIPS? WHERE CAN YOU BEEF UP? WHERE DO YOU NEED TO BEEF UP?
CAFORIO: OUR STRATEGY DOESN'T CHANGE. WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY TRANSFORMED THE COMPANY AND NOW WE'RE ENTERING A PERIOD OF SUSTAINED GROWTH, WHAT WE ARE CALLING A NEW CHAPTER, WHICH IS REALLY EXCITING FOR US. BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IS REALLY VERY IMPORTANT TO OUR STRATEGY. IT WILL CONTINUE TO BE. WE ACTUALLY HAVE A REALLY INTEGRATED APPROACH TO INNOVATION WITH INTERNAL R&D, COMPLEMENTED BY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. WE HAVE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD. OF SUCCESS IN PARTNERING WITH BIOTECH COMPANIES, PHARMA, THE ACADEMIC COMMUNITY. THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE A CRITICAL PART OF OUR STRATEGY. REMEMBER, WE ARE ACTIVE WITH OUR LEADING SCIENCE IN AREA WHERE THE MEDICAL NEED IS VERY HIGH AND WE CAN BRING TRANSFORMATIVE MEDICINES TO PATIENTS THAT'S REALLY OUR STRATEGY.
TIRRELL: I HAVE SO MUCH MORE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT ONE LAST QUESTION, AS YOU'RE LOOKING AT PARTNERING OR BUYING, ARE THE BIOTECH PRICES RIGHT NOW DO THEY MAKE SENSE TO YOU OR HAVE THEY GONE UP TOO HIGH?
CAFORIO: THERE IS TREMENDOUS PROGRESS IN SCIENCE. THINK ABOUT IMMUNOCOLOGY WE ARE THE PIONEERS IN THE FIELD. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS VERY, VERY RAPID, SO THE PROMISE IS GREAT. WHEN WE LOOK AT BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, WE LOOK AT STRATEGIC FEAT, THE STRENGTH OF THE SCIENCE, AND OBVIOUSLY IT MUST MAKE SENSE FINANCIALLY. AND OUR TRACK RECORD IS VERY GOOD. AGAIN, WHAT IS HAPPENING REALLY VALIDATES OUR STRATEGY. I AM VERY CONFIDENT THAT WE ARE AT THE BEGINNING OF A PERIOD OF GROWTH FOR THE COMPANY.
TIRRELL: DR. GIOVANNI, I HOPE WE GET TO TALK MORE WITH YOU SOON.
CAFORIO: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
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