Shares of blue-chip biotech Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) fell by a staggering 23.9% through the first six months of this year, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The biotech's former high-flying ways were halted this year by a slew of headwinds that all center around the upcoming patent expiration for the top-selling multiple myeloma drug Revlimid.
In short, Celgene has been working toward diversifying its revenue stream ahead of Revlimid's date with the patent cliff in 2022, but things haven't been going according to plan. Earlier this year, for instance, the company botched the regulatory filing for the high-value multiple sclerosis drug ozanimod, possibly wiping billions in future revenue off the table.
Unfortunately, the biotech also paid extremely steep prices to acquire both Impact Biomedicines and Juno Therapeutics to start the year, played the blame game with partner Receptos for ozanimod's refusal-to-file letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and had another major clinical candidate, GED-0301, flat out fail in late-stage testing for Crohn's disease in late 2017. Taken together, these setbacks and questionable business development moves have left investors scratching their heads over Celgene's leadership.
It's no secret that Celgene is far too reliant on Revlimid for the bulk of its annual revenue and top-line growth. So it comes as no surprise that investors punished the biotech mightily for failing to bring another major drug to market in a timely fashion and arguably overspending on two large acquisitions this year. Put simply, Celgene was seemingly making all the wrong moves during the first half of this year, and investors responded accordingly.
Despite these hurricane-force headwinds, Celgene is actually in decent shape from a growth standpoint. Thanks to its broader clinical pipeline that sports several potential blockbusters, Wall Street remains confident that the company can keep growing well beyond the entrance of generic Revlimid into the market.
Of course, this rosy outlook depends on Celgene returning to form on the clinical and regulatory fronts. But that event appears likely based on the biotech's lengthy history of generating industry-leading levels of growth and innovation. So, at eight times projected earnings, this beaten-down biotech arguably does come across as an attractive long-term buy and hold.