Bristol-Myers Squibb’s third-quarter financials have revealed flat revenues, though the bloodthinner Plavix continued to sell well, hit by the impact of US healthcare reforms.

Net income from continuing operations rose 6.4% to $949 million, a decrease of 1.8%, while group sales edged down 0.2% to $4.80 billion. The aforementioned reforms had a 1.6% negative effect on turnover.

Sales of Plavix (clopidogrel) were up 7% to $1.66 billion, though the antipsychotic Abilify (aripiprazole) fell 7% to $608 million and the antihypertensive Avapro/Avalide (irbesartan) was down 8% to $303 million. As for the firm's HIV drugs, sales of the Sustiva (efavirenz) franchise rose 9% to $342 million, and Reyataz (atazanavir) was up 4% to $375 million. Revenues from Baraclude (entecavir) for hepatitis B climbed 19% to $228 million.

Sprycel (dasatanib) for leukaemia rose 35% to $144 million, while Orencia (abatacept) for rheumatoid arthritis increased 14% to $184 million. The cancer agent Erbitux (cetuximab) fell 11% to $159 million and Onglyza (saxagliptin), a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes partnered with AstraZeneca, brought in $47 million, up 135%.

On a conference call, chief executive Lamberto Andreotti revealed that B-MS and partner Pfizer have initiated the process of filing their experimental anti-clotting drug Eliquis (apixaban) in the USA. The companies will submit clinical data on a rolling basis and expect to complete the filing to the US Food and Drug Administration by early 2011. A filing of the diabetes drug dapagliflozin, being co-developed with AstraZeneca, is planned for the end of 2010 or early next year.

B-MS has also completed its acquisition of ZymoGenetics, "adding to our strong portfolio in hepatitis C and demonstrating our continued focus on strategic transactions", Mr Andreotti noted. Analysts were fairly impressed with the results, especially the pipeline news as B-MS prepares for life after Plavix, which will go off-patent in the USA next year.