Pharmaceutical industry spectators can expect to see various new initiatives for growth undertaken by healthcare giant Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in the medium and long-term future.
Earlier this week, the company announced the completion of a takeover of ZymoGenetics, a deal valued at $885 million (£551.9 million), allowing the business to be incorporated as the latest new subsidiary of the biopharmaceuticals group.
The transaction - which adds new treatments such as Recothrom and the developmental drug pegylated-interferon lambda to BMS' portfolio - is part of a wider strategy outlined by new chief executive officer (CEO) Lamberto Andreotti to instil a forward-looking new business model for the coming years.
Mr Andreotti, who took over the top role at BMS from James Cornelius in May 2010, recently gave an interview to the Financial Times in which he described the firm as the company "with the most significant changes in the industry in the last few years".
Indeed, the firm has experienced a difficult time in the recent past, having been hit with a fine from US regulatory authorities in 2007 for its pricing and marketing policies, resulting in the departure of the company's management team.
The new BMS CEO said the experience of 2007 meant that the company "learnt a lot" and has since successfully restructured its internal system of laws and regulations, allowing it to regain a position in which "people look at us with respect".
He explained: "We said: 'Let's stop trying to look for a model that is OK for others and was OK in the past. Let's see what's good for us, for the future'."
According to the CEO, this new attitude has been characterised by a new focus on the "best of pharma", implementing a more focused approach to business objectives and adopting a greater openness to collaboration and cooperation with other firms.
Evidence from the last 12 months demonstrates how this is being put into effect, with business units such as its Asia-Pacific over-the-counter operations having been divested in order to provide greater strategic focus on its core biopharmaceutical business interests.
In the same timeframe, research collaborations agreed in 2007 between BMS and other pharmaceutical giants have started to yield results, with positive phase III clinical trial data on the AstraZeneca/BMS diabetes treatment dapagliflozin and the Pfizer/BMS atrial fibrillation compound apixaban both having been published in recent months.
Moreover, the firm has also confirmed a number of new collaborations to improve its business efficiency, including the June 2010 agreement with contract research organisations Icon and Parexel to provide strategic, operational and capability support over the next three years.
As Mr Andreotti explains, "partnerships allow us to risk-share and build on our respective strengths more than either company could do alone".
According to BMS' most recent financial report, published in July 2010, these initiatives are being accompanied by improvements in its business performance.
During the second quarter of 2010, the company accrued a sales total of $4.8 billion - a 2.8 per cent year-on-year increase - with key gains seen in its virology portfolio, while also achieving important regulatory milestones for drugs such as Orencia and ipilimumab.
Despite the ambition of its ongoing growth initiatives, Mr Andreotti was keen to stress that it does not intend to "give up the big pharma legacy" by diversifying into new areas, instead choosing to maintaining the company's focus on innovation in the prescription drugs market.
He added that it will continue to attempt to improve the business' image and that of the pharmaceuticals sector as a whole by working towards a culture of improved openness.
"We need to inform patients more accurately than in the past and doctors with the information they need when they want it," he explained.