In an Oct. 25 research report, H. C. Wainwright analyst Andrew Fein outlined the high points of Biogen Inc.'s (BIIB:NASDAQ) quarterly earnings update, noting that a "buzz" surrounds Spinraza but that his firm maintains its "long-standing focus on the AD [Alzheimer's disease] franchise."
Fein listed four takeaways from the company's quarterly report:
- Multiple sclerosis "remains the main cash source for the company, despite a negative impact from Ocrevus"
- "Strong ex-U.S. adoption" of Spinraza, used to treat spinal muscular atrophy, "drove current quarter-to-quarter growth"
- "Renegotiation of the agreements with Eisai Inc. (ESALF:OTCPK; not rated) and Neurimmune (private), along with Eisai's option-in on aducanumab, signaled Biogen's (and Eisai's) conviction behind the program"
- "Continued advancement and expansion of its neurology pipeline with enhanced ASO and gene therapy manufacturing capabilities form the cornerstone of Biogen's long-term value proposition"
Fein also asserted that his firm elects "to focus on the prospects of the AD franchise with aducanumab as the leading asset based on the view that it is a major long-term value driver." Eisai's opt-in on aducanumab "certainly adds an external validation for the program as well," the analyst added.
Fein commented on Biogen's other Alzheimer's assets as well, asserting, "While investors may remain cautious of aducanumab as the depressed outlook for Abeta thesis remains, largely due to the misses of several high-profile Phase 3 trials by targeting Abeta, we highlight the company's robust AD pipeline. Beyond two anti-Abeta antibodies, namely aducanumab (in Phase 3) and BAN2401 (in Phase 2), the company has assets targeting BACE1 (Elenbecestat) and tau (BIIB092, BIIB076, BIIB080), two of the most promising therapeutic approaches."
Biogen's plans for expanding its reach in neuroscience, including development of therapies for pain and epilepsy, also garnered Fein's attention. "[The expanding] neurology pipeline reaffirms our belief in [the] company's core competence of de-risking," the analyst wrote. "We believe that through the company's improved translational capabilities, the probability of success across neuroscience should be enhanced, and we view these capabilities as the company's ultimate value driver of future growth."
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Biogen Inc., Earnings Update, Oct. 25, 2107
I, Andrew S. Fein and Li Wang Watsek, certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst’s household has a financial interest in the securities of Biogen, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of September 30, 2017 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Biogen, Inc.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from Biogen, Inc for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in Biogen, Inc as of the date of this research report.