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Biotech Stock Roundup: Amgen Impresses, Gilead Disappoints in Q1, Biogen to Spin Off Hemophilia

Earnings were the key focus this week with several major biotech companies like Amgen AMGN, Gilead GILD and Celgene CELG reporting results. But in the midst of all this, acquisitions and deals continued to garner interest with Medivation MDVN confirming it got an unsolicited offer from Sanofi and Biogen BIIB deciding to spin-off its hemophilia business.   

Recap of the Week’s Most Important Stories

1. Big names in the biotech sector reported earnings over the last five trading days with some hitting the bull’s eye and others falling short. Amgen started the year on the right note with not only a beat on all fronts but also a raised outlook (Read more: Amgen Tops Q1 Earnings & Revenues, Ups View).

Meanwhile, pricing pressure and increasing competition is affecting sales of hepatitis C virus (HCV) products with both Gilead (Read more: Gilead Lags Q1 Earnings & Revenues, '16 View Intact) and AbbVie ABBV recording a slowdown in HCV product sales. Vertex’s first quarter results were also disappointing with the company missing estimates on earnings and revenues falling well short of expectations with Orkambi sales and guidance lagging expectations as well (Read more: Will Vertex Stock Decline on 1Q Earnings Miss?).

Alexion’s results also fell short of expectations (Read more: Alexion Lags Q1 Earnings & Revenues, Revises View).

Celgene’s results were mixed with an earnings beat and revenue miss ((Read more: Celgene Beats on Q1 Earnings, Updates '16 Outlook).

2. AbbVie, known for its flagship product Humira, continues to sign deals to expand its pipeline and diversify its revenue base. Along with reporting first quarter results, the company said that it will be acquiring cancer drugmaker Stemcentrx. Rova-T, Stemcentrx’s lead pipeline candidate, is currently in registrational studies for small cell lung cancer.

According to AbbVie, the candidate has blockbuster potential and could be launched in 2018. AbbVie intends to evaluate Rova-T for additional indications and estimates peak sales approaching $5 billion. (Read more: AbbVie Beats on 1Q Earnings, Lowers View on Deal)

3. Medivation confirmed last week that it received an unsolicited offer from French drugmaker Sanofi. However, Medivation’s Board of Directors rejected the offer of $52.50 per share as not being in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. According to rumors, Sanofi is not the only company interested in acquiring Medivation. Companies like AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Gilead and Amgen are all rumored to be prospective suitors.

4. Biogen confirmed that it will be spinning off its hemophilia business into an independent, publicly traded company. There was quite a bit of speculation that the company would sell its hemophilia franchise which consists of Eloctate and Alprolix. Both products brought in total sales of $640 million during the twelve-month period ended Mar 31, 2016.

With the spin-off of this business, Biogen will go back to doing what it does best – developing and bringing neurology products to market. The company plans to speed up its efforts to bring new treatments for multiple sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and neuropathic pain to market.


All the major biotech stocks recorded declines last week with Gilead declining 13.97% during this period. Meanwhile, Vertex has lost 35.99% over the last six months.

The NASDAQ Biotechnology Index was down 5.5% over the last five trading days (See the last biotech stock roundup here: Biogen Tops on Q1 Earnings, Sarepta, Catalyst Plunge on Regulatory News).

What's Next in the Biotech World?

While most of the major biotech companies have already reported first quarter results, companies like Regeneron REGN will be reporting later this week.

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REGENERON PHARM (REGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
GILEAD SCIENCES (GILD): Free Stock Analysis Report
CELGENE CORP (CELG): Free Stock Analysis Report
AMGEN INC (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report
MEDIVATION INC (MDVN): Free Stock Analysis Report
BIOGEN INC (BIIB): Free Stock Analysis Report
ABBVIE INC (ABBV): Free Stock Analysis Report
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