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Bristol-Myers Squibb sued for $6.4B over delayed cancer drug

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Business > Bristol-Myers Squibb sued for $6.4B over delayed cancer drug

Bristol-Myers Squibb was sued for $6.4 billion on Thursday for allegedly delaying its Breyanzi cancer drug to avoid payments to shareholders of the former Celgene, which the drugmaker bought in 2019.

According to a complaint in Manhattan federal court, Bristol-Myers failed to use contractually required “diligent efforts” to win US Food and Drug Administration approval for the non-Hodgkin lymphoma drug by a Dec. 31, 2020, deadline.

By missing the deadline, Bristol-Myers was excused from owing an additional $9 in cash to Celgene shareholders for each share they held, enabling it to acquire Celgene at an “enormous discount” and enjoy a “windfall,” the complaint said.

Bristol-Myers bought Celgene for $80.3 billion in cash and stock in November 2019. It won FDA approval for Breyanzi, whose chemical name is lisocabtagene maraleucel, on Feb. 5.

The lawsuit was brought by UMB Bank NA, acting as a trustee for Celgene’s former shareholders.

Former shareholders of Celgene charge in a lawsuit that Bristol-Myers denied them rightful payments by deliberately delaying one of its cancer drugs.SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

“We will not be commenting on pending litigation,” Bristol-Myers said in a statement.

The $9 per share “milestone” payment had been contingent on New York-based Bristol-Myers winning FDA approval by