Launching This Week, A Look at Biogen's Spinoff Bioverativ

Launching This Week, A Look at Biogen's Spinoff Bioverativ January 30, 2017
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Bioverativ (BIVVV) launches this week. Bioverativ is the spinoff of Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen ’s hemophilia unit.

Bioverativ was approved on December 20, 2016 by Biogen’s board of directors. Bioverativ has two drugs, Eloctate for Hemophilia A and Alprolix for Hemophilia B. In 2016, the two drugs created about $850 million in sales. In 2015, the two drugs brought in $554 million.

The company indicates that hemophilia is a $10 billion-plus market that is growing at 7 percent.

The new spinoff will have approximately 400 employees and $325 million in cash. Bioverativ will be located in Waltham, Mass. at the abandoned site of the now-defunct biotech company, Forum Pharmaceuticals. The company’s chief executive officer is John Cox, who previously acted as Biogen’s executive vice president of pharmaceutical operations and technology.

Of the new headquarters, Cox told the Boston Business Journal, “When you walk in there, you should feel that everyone’s focused on hemophilia. That’s what this company is about.”

The two current drugs were co-developed with Sobi, out of Sweden. Bioverativ projects it will start a clinical trial of a Hemophilia A drug that could be longer-acting than Eloctate. It also has a Hemophilia B drug in preclinical development. It also has compounds in discovery or preclinical development for Beta Thalassemia and Sickle Cell disease.

In addition to Cox, the company added three board members on January 11. They include Alex Denner, the head of Sarissa Capital, Brian Postner of Point Rider Group, and Louis Paglia of Oakstone Capital Partners.

John Greene is the company’s chief financial officer. Rogerio Vivaldi will be its chief global therapeutic operations officer. Richard Brudnick is executive vice president of BD & Alliance Management. Lucia Celona is chief HR & corporate communications officer. And Andrea DiFabio is chief legal officer.

The company’s scientific leadership is rounded out by Rob Peters, senior vice president, Research, Maha Radhakrishnan, senior vice president, Medical, Nisha Jain, executive director, Medical, Bill Hobbs, executive director, Clinical Development, and Michael Poirier, senior vice president, Regulatory & Safety.

In an investor presentation from earlier in January, Bioverativ expects greater than $800 million in revenue from 2016, and will maintain a geographic presence in the U.S., Japan, and Canada.

Cox pointed out that Bioverativ has many advantages over a typical startup. It doesn’t have significant debt and Biogen will act as its manufacturer. “We’re starting a new company, but we’re not a startup. We have all of the capabilities that a full-fledge biotech has because we spawned from Biogen.”

The separation is expected to be completed tomorrow, February 1. Biogen investors will receive a special dividend—one share of Bioverative for every two shares of Biogen that they had as of January 17. Bioverative started trading on January 12 under BIVV.

George Scangos left Biogen as chief executive officer on January 6, replaced by Michel Vounatsos.

Biogen is currently trading for $275.87.

Bioverativ is currently trading for $44.10.

In its investor presentation, Bioverativ gave 2017 financial guidance, projecting GAAP revenue growth of 17 to 19 percent and a GAAP operating margin of 37 to 42 percent.

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