13 Massachusetts Life Science Companies Show Gains and Losses

Massachusetts Petri Dish

Massachusetts in general and Boston, specifically Cambridge, is one of the two largest centers in the U.S. for biotech startups and life science companies (the other being the San Francisco Bay Area). Here’s a look at 13 Massachusetts life science companies that are showing both gains and losses—mostly gains—at the six-month mark.

ImmunoGen. Based in Waltham, Mass., Immunogen focuses on antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) for oncology. The concept is to choose a cancer-killing drug and attach it to a specific antibody using a biodegradable linker. In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation to its lead program, mirvetuximab soravtansine, for patients with medium to high folate receptor alpha-positive platinum-resistant ovarian cancer who have received at least one, but no more than three previous systemic treatments, and for patients where single-agent chemotherapy is appropriate as the next line of therapy. The company’s revenues for the second quarter of 2017 were $39 million compared to this year’s second quarter revenue of $9 million. The company indicates it has strengthened its position with an upsized public offering.

Anika Therapeutics. Headquartered in Bedford, Mass., Anika focuses on pain management, tissue regeneration and wound healing. On June 19, it reported topline results from its CINGAL 16-002 clinical trial, a Phase III trial comparing Cingal, a combination of cross-linked HA and triamcinolone hexacetonide (TH) with TH alone and cross-linked HA in patients with osteoarthritis (OA) in the knee. Cingal showed greater pain reduction, but at 26 weeks did not reach statistical significance. The company reported a drop of 9 percent revenue from $33.5 million in the second quarter of 2017 to $30.5 million in the second quarter of 2018.

Shire. Technically, Shire’s headquarters are in Dublin, but most of its activities are in Massachusetts. In May of this year, it was reported that Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceutical would buy Shire for $62.2 billion. At its second-quarter financial report, Shire noted a 4.5 percent revenue increase from $3.75 billion in the second quarter of 2017 to $3.9 billion in the second quarter of 2018.

Boston Scientific. Located in Marlborough, Mass., Boston Scientific is a medical device company that employs about 29,000 people. On August 8, it announced it was buying Veniti, a privately-held company in Fremont, Calif. that developed and commercialized the VICI VENOUS STENT System for venous obstructive disease. Boston Scientific is paying $108 million upfront in cash and up to $52 million in milestone payments. The company reported a 9 percent increase in second-quarter revenue this year, of $2.5 billion, compared to $2.3 billion in the same period last year.

Hologic. Headquartered in Marlborough, Mass., Hologic is a medical device and diagnostics company. On Aug. 2, the FDA cleared its Group B Streptococcus (GBS) assay on the Panther Fusion system. The company reported a 10 percent increase in revenue in this year’s second quarter, $789 million, compared to $715 million in the second quarter of 2018.

Biogen. Located in Cambridge, Mass., Biogen is dominant in neurological diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS). Most industry watchers and investors are keeping a close eye on its programs for Alzheimer’s disease, including a July 25 announcement of Phase II results of elenbecestat in Alzheimer’s with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) that it is developing with Eisai. Even more attention is being paid to aducanumab for Alzheimer’s, which will have results from a Phase III trial probably in 2020.

On July 24, Biogen reported strong sales for the second quarter, with total revenues of $3.4 billion, up 9 percent compared to the same period in 2017. Multiple sclerosis (MS) revenues were $2.3 billion, with about $113 million being royalties for Ocrevus. Its relatively new drug for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Spinraza, brought in $423 million in global revenues for the quarter.

Alexion Pharmaceuticals. On July 26, Alexion reported total second-quarter financials of $1.045 billion, a 14 percent increase over the same period last year and a 16 percent increase in volume. “In the second quarter of 2018, we are pleased to have once again delivered strong top and bottom-line growth,” said Ludwig Hantson, Alexion’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “We see continued momentum from both our in-line business and our gMG launch. We have advanced our ALXN1210 programs with the goal of improving the standard of care for patients and have filed regulatory submission for PNH in the U.S. and EU, and pending regulatory approval, plan to launch next year. We also completed the Wilson Therapeutics acquisition and began a collaboration with Complement Pharma, important initial steps in building out our clinical pipeline.” Company headquarters are now in Boston, Mass.

Thermo Fisher Scientific. Located in Waltham, Mass., Thermo Fisher employs about 70,000 people worldwide, offering numerous products and services via several well-known brands, including Thermo Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, and Unity Lab Services. For the second quarter, the company reported $6.1 billion this year, up 22 percent from $5 billion in the second quarter of 2017.

PerkinElmer. Headquartered in Boston, PerkinElmer reported its second-quarter earnings on August 1, with GAAP revenue growth of 29 percent to $703.4 million. “We saw continued momentum in the business as both segments experienced double-digit organic revenue growth in the second quarter,” said Robert Friel, PerkinElmer’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Our focus on bringing innovative new product offerings to market, while targeting attractive end markets where our capabilities are well differentiated, continues to drive solid revenue and adjusted earnings growth. As a result, we are once again raising our full year organic revenue outlook and adjusted earnings per share guidance.”

Abiomed. Based in Danvers, Mass., Abiomed is a medical device company focused on circulatory support. On April 2, the FDA approved its Impella CP heart pump with SmartAssist and Optical Sensor. In the second quarter, it reported $180 million in revenue, up 36 percent from $132.5 million in the same period last year.

Alkermes. Corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, but its primary facility is in Waltham, Mass. In the second quarter, it reported total revenues of $304.6 million, up 39 percent from $218.8 million for the same period last year. Proprietary product net sales for Vivitrol and Aristada were $109.8 million for the quarter, a 24 percent improvement from the previous period in 2017. “Our strong second quarter results were driven by the solid growth of our proprietary commercial products, the continued strength of our royalty and manufacturing business, as well as the receipt of a $50 million payment related to our collaboration with Biogen for BIIB098,” said James Frates, Alkermes’ chief financial officer, in a statement.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Based in Boston, Vertex is focused on cystic fibrosis (CF). On August 7, the FDA approved the drug ivacaftor for use in children ages 2 through 5 years with CF who have two copies of the F508del-CFTR mutation. A Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) line extension for the same application has been submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) with approval expected in the first half of 2019. For its second quarter, revenue climbed 45 percent from mid-year 2017, totaling $750 million for the half this year.

Harvard Bioscience. Headquartered in Holliston, Mass., focuses on scientific instruments in the life sciences. For the second quarter, the company reported revenue of $31.5 million, an increase of 66 percent compared to $19 million for the same period last year. In June, its subsidiary Data Sciences International, launched two telemetry implants, the PhysioTel Digital M0G and M1G to evaluate and measure blood glucose levels in large animals. This is for use by diabetes researchers.

Article CTA

Back to news