Biotech and Pharma

Bristol-Myers CEO: 'I feel really good about where we are going'

Bristol-Myers CEO: Confident about promise of our portfolio & pipeline

Fresh off an earnings beat, Bristol-Myers Squibb CEO Giovanni Caforio told CNBC Thursday he is confident in the company's pipeline and its portfolio.

The drugmaker, who saw its high-profile Opdivo immunotherapy fail an important lung-cancer trial last summer, sharply raised its 2016 profit forecast after strong quarterly sales of other leading medicines.

"I feel really good about where we are as a company. I feel really good about where we are going," Caforio said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

Opdivo had been considered the leader among a new class of cancer drugs called PD-1 inhibitors until August, when researchers said it failed to slow progression of symptoms in previously untreated patients with advanced lung cancer.

Then earlier this month, researchers said Merck's Keytruda prolonged the life of similar patients, and on Monday, it became the first of new immunotherapy drugs approved in the United States for initial lung cancer treatment.

Caforio said that while Opdivo has been established as foundational therapy for lung cancer in second-line treatment, "Unfortunately, now we know monotherapy is not going to be an option for many patients in the first line," he said.

"It doesn't really change our strategy. We are committed to combination therapies and we are very confident we are very well positioned with combinations," he added.

Caforio went on to stress the "really exciting, potentially innovative medicines" in areas like oncology, heart failure, immunoscience and fibrosis that are moving forward.

On Thursday, Bristol-Myers announced it earned $1.2 billion, or 72 cents per share in the quarter, compared with $706 million, or 42 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue jumped 21 percent to $4.9 billion, about $200 million above forecasts.

Excluding special items, it earned 77 cents per share, well above expectations of 65 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The company also predicted 2016 earnings of $2.80 to $2.90 a share, up from its previous forecast range of $2.55 to $2.65. It said it expects 2017 earnings of $2.85 to $3.05 per share.

In addition, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced it was looking at a streamlined business model going forward.

While Caforio wouldn't say whether that meant job cuts or narrowing its therapeutic areas of focus, he told CNBC it was all about focusing the company's resources on where it can make the most difference.

"As an industry and a company we actually have to change all the time. This is a very dynamic market," he told CNBC. "It's going to be all about focusing resources on the highest priorities."

— Reuters and CNBC's Meg Tirrell contributed to this story.