The US FDA approved 12 new drugs in the fourth quarter 2017, bringing the total number of approvals for the year to 46, more than in any of the previous 20 years. The majority of these approvals were granted to biotechnology companies.
The Board of Directors will propose a record regular dividend of CHF 3.30 per share at the general assembly on March 13, 2018. This is computed as a 5% dividend yield applied to the average share price during December 2017 – consistent with the dividend policy introduced in 2013.
BB Biotech believes that 2018 will continue to bring important product approvals and milestones for the sector and for its portfolio. BB Biotech anticipates continued debate around the US Affordable Care Act.
As predicted, concerns around drug pricing restrictions by the US government are sporadic more than systematic. But BB Biotech continues to monitor potential changes.
Biotechnology valuations are attractive at current levels. The financial aspects of the US tax reform bill – including lower corporate tax rates and allowances for repatriation of ex-US cash may presage both improved and simplified balance sheets for US large cap pharma and perhaps an uptick in M&A activities in biotechnology.
More fundamentally and therefore importantly, BB Biotech expects the biotechnology sector to grow based on its ever increasing strengths of innovation and an increasing share of novel drugs in 2018 and beyond.
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