It was revealed that activist investor Elliott Investment Management has acquired a stake of over $1 billion in BioMarin Pharmaceutical, a California-based biotech company specializing in the treatment of rare and hereditary disorders. The investment comes at a pivotal moment for BioMarin, coinciding with a leadership change as Chairman and CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaimé prepares to retire on December 1, with Alexander Hardy set to take the helm as the new President and CEO.
Elliott's investment in BioMarin has been the subject of ongoing discussions between the two entities for several months. While the specific details of these conversations, including any proposed adjustments by Elliott, remain undisclosed, the market responded positively to the news. Seeking Alpha now values BioMarin at over $14 billion, leading to an 8.5% increase in the company's stock on the morning following the Reuters report.
BioMarin reported robust third-quarter financials, with revenues reaching $581.3 million, a 15% year-over-year increase. Notably, the company's achondroplasia treatment, Voxzogo (vosoritide), demonstrated remarkable growth, generating $123.1 million in the quarter—a staggering 155% increase from the same period in 2022. Voxzogo, the only FDA-approved treatment for pediatric achondroplasia, received a label expansion this month, allowing treatment for even younger patients.
It was not all smooth sailing for BioMarin with Roctavian (valoctocogene roxaparvovec-rvox), its treatment for hemophilia A. Despite FDA approval in June 2023, Roctavian reported less than $1 million in revenue for the third quarter. Originally projecting $100 million to $200 million in revenue for 2023, BioMarin revised its forecast to $50 million to $100 million in April. The latest projection anticipates Roctavian revenues of less than $10 million.
The disparity between initial expectations and actual sales for Roctavian prompted BioMarin to reduce its full-year sales forecast from $2.5 billion to a range of $2.39 billion to $2.47 billion. The The biotech company is now faced with the task of strategizing and adapting to optimize Roctavian's market performance.
As Elliott Investment Management takes a substantial position in BioMarin, the activist investor's intentions and the potential impact on the biotech's future direction remain uncertain. With the company navigating a leadership transition and addressing the challenges with Roctavian, stakeholders eagerly await further developments that may shape BioMarin's trajectory in the evolving biopharmaceutical landscape.