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January 12, 2017

Biogen Hemophilia Spinoff Bioverativ Begins Trading Shares

  • Biogen’s global hemophilia business will be spun out into a new company, Bioverativ, that will begin trading common shares today on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

    Bioverativ will be an independent, publicly held biotech focused on R&D and commercialization of new therapies designed to address areas of serious unmet need in hemophilia and other rare blood disorders, Biogen said.

    The spinoff is expected to be completed on February 1.

    Biogen disclosed plans last year to spin out the hemophilia business, in order to refocus on treatments for neurological and eye diseases. Biogen’s board last month approved the spinoff of Bioverativ, agreeing to give Biogen shareholders one share of the new company’s stock for every two shares of Biogen held as of the close of business on January 17.

    During the first three quarters of 2016, hemophilia treatments accounted for over 7% of Biogen’s total $8.577 billion in revenue; the company is set to report Q4 2016 results on January 26.

    The hemophilia A treatment Eloctate and the hemophilia B drug Alprolix® racked up a combined $605 million in sales—$365 million for Eloctate, the rest for Alprolix—compared with $554.2 million in sales for all of 2015. The treatments are on track to generate a combined $800 million-plus in sales for 2016, Bioverativ stated during a January 6 “Investor Day” event.

    In addition to the marketed products, Bioverativ plans to advance a pipeline of preclinical prospects led by hemophilia A candidate BIVV 001 (formerly Biogen’s BIIB073), a once-weekly or less frequent treatment that the company plans to advance into clinical phases this year.

    BIVV 001 is an engineered Factor VIII molecule with a region of Fc dimer, D’D3 domains of von Willebrand factor, and polypeptides developed through the XTEN half-life extension technology developed by Amunix and acquired by Biogen.

    Also in Bioverativ’s pipeline:

    • BIVV 002 (formerly Biogen’s BIIB085), a subcutaneous hemophilia B candidate that combines Fc dimer and XTEN technology along with R338L Padua Factor IX variant.
    • Candidates for beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease, to be generated through a collaboration that Biogen launched in 2014 with Sangamo BioSciences using the latter’s genome-editing technology platform.
    • Lentiviral gene transfer vector-based gene therapies for hemophilia A and hemophilia B, to be developed through a collaboration Biogen launched in 2015 with a joint venture of Italy’s Fondazione Telethon and Ospedale San Raffaele
    • A Factor VIIIa mimetic bispecific antibody indicated for hemophilia A and inhibitors, whose method of action is undisclosed.
    • “Multiple” early-stage programs for sickle cell, whose methods of action are also undisclosed.

    Bioverativ executives led by CEO John Cox said during the investor event the new company aims “to become the leading hematology rare disease company committed to creating significant progress for patients.”

    Shares of Bioverativ will begin trading under the symbol BIVVV on a “when-issued” basis that will change to regular-way trading on February 2, when the company’s stock symbol will change to BIVV.

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