Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) recently completed spinning off its fast-growing hemophilia drugs into a new company, Bioverativ (NASDAQ:BIVV). The spinoff creates one of the most interesting players in a $10 billion market for hemophilia drugs, but the market is very competitive, and that could create some headwinds. Is Bioverativ a stock worth buying in your portfolio? Analysts Kristine Harjes and Todd Campbell walk you through Bioverativ's market potential in this clip from The Motley Fool's Industry Focus: Healthcare podcast.
A full transcript follows the video.
This podcast was recorded on Feb. 1, 2017.
Kristine Harjes: Biogen is spinning off its hemophilia franchise -- I shouldn't even say "is spinning off." As of today, they have spun off this company called Bioverativ as a stand-alone company that will focus on hemophilia. How are you thinking about this spinoff?
Todd Campbell: It's a really interesting decision on their part. The drugs that are being spun out, Alprolix and Eloctate, those two hemophilia drugs are their fastest-growing drugs in their product lineup. So they decided to take this part of their business and spread it out so that they can focus more on these neurological disorders like multiple sclerosis and, like we'll talk about in a minute, things like Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease and whatever, that's going to be what's left at Biogen. Then, they're taking these smaller drugs that are less core but also very fast growing, and spinning them off. I think there are some intriguing reasons why they're doing this. It's kind of speculative on my part, but I think the reason they're doing this is, this is an increasingly competitive market. To back up for a second, those two hemophilia drugs from Biogen reshaped hemophilia treatment. Again, similar to the conversation we just had on the last part the show, reducing the patient burden by lowering the number of doses of the medicine that they need to take every week. By doing that, reshaping that and reducing the patient burden, these drugs have really taken off and become pretty meaningful drugs. Combined, they generated over $800 million in sales last year.
Harjes: This is a pretty big indication. There's 400,000 people in the world affected by hemophilia. This company launched today. Its ticker, if you're interested, is BIVVV. How the spinoff works is that Biogen shareholders, at the close of business on Jan. 17, received one share of the new company for every two shares that they had of Biogen. Did I get that ratio right?
Campbell: Yeah. Probably the biggest question on people's minds, Kristine, right now -- since it was a spinoff, do I hold these shares? If you're a Biogen investor right now, and you just received these shares in this new spinoff, should you keep it or not? I think one interesting thing to keep in the back of your mind, I was talking about the competitive landscape, while these two drugs reshaped treatment, all of the other hemophilia players have also been developing their longer-lasting formulations as well, and those have all been hitting the market and becoming available over the last 12 months. So, 2017 and 2018, we could see a much more drastic slowing in the top-line growth for this new company. People are going to have to keep that in mind. On the other side of that, they have to say, we also know, because it's so competitive, there has been a lot of acquisition activity. Shire spent a truckload of money to buy Baxalta, one of the largest players in the space, just a couple years ago. So it wouldn't be too shocking. That was also a spinoff, by the way, that was spun off by Baxter. So it wouldn't be too shocking to me if this company, maybe, ends up becoming a target at some point in the next couple years. No, that's not necessarily a reason to hold the stock. But it's something to keep in the back of your mind.