Amid Hemophilia Spinoff, Biogen’s Head of Strategy Returns to Bain Capital

Amid Hemophilia Spinoff, Biogen’s Head of Strategy Returns to Bain Capital May 3, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Amid big changes at Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen , Adam Koppel, the company’s executive vice president, strategy and business development, will leave the company on June 2 and rejoin Bain Capital.

The company announced today that it is spinning off its hemophilia unit into a separate, independent, publicly-traded company. That company will likely be headquartered in the Boston area and be run by Biogen’s current executive vice president of Pharmaceutical Operations & Technology, John Cox.

Koppel started at Biogen in 2014 as the company’s chief strategy officer. His new position at Bain Capital, where he worked prior to joining Biogen, will be as a managing director of a specific initiative to increase capital growth by way of private investments in the biotech and life sciences sector.

“Adam has made important contributions during his tenure at Biogen, and we will miss him as a strategic thinker and colleague. He brought a unique and valuable perspective to our business, and was instrumental in helping us to define our long-term strategic plan,” said George Scangos, Biogen’s chief executive officer, in a statement. “I wish Adam great success in his new role.”

Koppel’s duties will be handled by Scangos, Michael Ehlers, Biogen’s executive vice president, research and development, and Paul Clancy, executive vice president, chief financial officer.

Before joining Biogen, Koppel was managing director of Brookside Capital, the public-equity affiliate of Bain Capital. Before Brookside, he was associate principal with McKinsey & Company, where he specialized in consulting to biopharma and life science companies.

“It has been an incredible learning experience to have been part of Biogen during such a dynamic time in the organization’s history,” said Koppel, in a statement. “I am honored to have worked with a team so committed to driving innovation and making a difference in the lives of patients, and I am proud of the progress we have made. As I prepare to move back to Bain Capital, I am certain that Biogen will continue to be successful in advancing important new therapies.”

Brian Abrahams, an analyst with Jefferies, repeated a “buy” rating on Biogen, giving it a price target of $326. Biogen is currently trading for $275.

In a research note published yesterday, Abrahams said, “On Friday, BIIB announced departure of Chief Strategy Officer, Dr. Adam Koppel, after his two-year tenure leading strategy, BD, and M&A. The news is somewhat unexpected but based on our additional color from the company, we do not believe the structural changes will necessarily alter the likelihood of the company accelerating M&A initiatives this year. We believe the recently-announced research-and-development head hire is a strong fit.”

Abrahams refers to the recent hiring of Michael Ehlers as executive vice president, research and development. He will manage the company’s global research, drug discovery, clinical development and medical affairs areas.

Ehlers was previously group senior vice president for BioTherapeutics R&D and chief scientific officer for Neuroscience and Pain Research Unit at Pfizer .

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