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Biogen completes haemophilia business separation

Spin-out Bioverativ launched to focus exclusively on rare blood disorders
Biogen

The separation of Biogen's growing haemophilia unit from its main business to create two 'agile' specialists is complete, with spin-out Bioverativ making its debut on the market this week.

Plans to split the firm were first announced in May last year, and the new biotech sets up shop with a pipeline of blood disorders products and Biogen's two signature haemophilia A and B drugs, Eloctate (efmoroctocog alfa) and Aprolix (eftrenonacog alfa).

The biotech was a latecomer to the $10bn haemophilia sector, but quickly gained ground with long-acting, low-dose therapies Eloctate and Aprolix, which collectively brought in sales of $888m last year.

John Cox, Biogen's executive vice president for pharmaceutical operations and technology, has been confirmed as chief executive officer of the new firm, bringing years of experience with Biogen's haemophilia unit to the role.

He said: “We are fortunate to launch in a strong financial position, with two innovative products for haemophilia that are continuing to show strong growth, significant capital to fund investment in future innovation, and a foundation of truly remarkable science on which we hope to develop the next generation of therapies for patients.”

Bioverativ's pipeline will be up against haemophilia stalwarts Bayer, CSL Behring, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer and Shire (formerly Baxalta) in its bid to win market share, as well as new entrants Genzyme and Roche who are developing gene silencing and bispecific antibody therapies, respectively.

Cox added: “Bioverativ has a strong legacy of commitment to the haemophilia community and, as a standalone company, we will bring an even greater focus on working together to create meaningful progress.

“We understand the significant unmet needs that remain for people with haemophilia and are applying our science in the areas where we believe we can make the most impact.”

Meanwhile, separation from the haemophilia business allows Biogen to focus on its neurological disorders unit. The firm has a range of multiple sclerosis therapies and a CNS pipeline that includes candidates for treating Alzheimer's disease, as well as oncology, immunological and biosimilars products.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

2nd February 2017

From: Research, Sales

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