Biotech Buying Spree: Why These 3 Stocks Could Get Deals In 2019


2018-12-25 07:35:40 IBD


Sarepta Therapeutics (SRPT), Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) and Loxo Oncology (LOXO) are the most likely takeover candidates among biotech stocks in 2019, according to RBC Capital Markets. Mergers among biotech stocks didn't hit the expected fever pitch that analysts predicted for 2018. But that could change in 2019, RBC analysts said in a report earlier this month. "With small/midsized cap valuations having 'normalized' and large biopharma now better positioned to execute (mergers and acquisitions), we do expect to finally see meaningful pickup in acquisitions many predicted for years," they wrote. Biotech stocks have fallen for eight running sessions. On the stock market today, shares slid less than 1%. Top performers Monday included gene-editing plays Crispr Therapeutics (CRSP) and Editas Medicine (EDIT). 2019: A Buying Spree For Biotech Stocks? Analysts started 2018 expecting a buying spree among biotech stocks. RBC analysts had called for 34 deals among biotech stocks. In total, the segment kept pace so far in 2018, they wrote in a report to clients. The biggest was the massive $62 billion merger between Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Shire (SHPG) — a deal expected to create a pharma that rivals Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) in size. The merger of Takeda and Shire is the exception, however. Excluding that merger, however, the cumulative deal value for the others was $50 billion, well short of expectations for $100 billion. "Overall, we believe the key takeaway is that large biopharma is preferring smaller, earlier stage deals, private companies, or discounted late-stage assets as opposed to larger $15 billion-plus acquisitions we have historically seen in this space," analysts said. Why Mergers Among Biotech Stocks Could Rise Still, RBC analysts expect the pace of deals to speed up in 2019. In 2018, there was a 78% increase in the number of merger deals among biotech stocks. The total value of those deals, though, slid about 57% from a recent high of around $115 billion in 2014-15. There were eight deals worth more than $1 billion announced in 2018, up from five in 2016-17. Notable among the 2018 deals were Sanofi's (SNY) $11.6 billion buyout of Bioverativ, Celgene's (CELG) $9 billion takeover of Juno Therapeutics, and Novartis' (NVS) $8.7 billion AveXis buy. Deals in 2018 were focused in oncology and emerging gene/cell therapies. In 2019, RBC expects transactions among biotech stocks to be in oncology and neurology. Other possibilities are in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. Investors correctly guessed that deals for AveXis, Juno and Tesaro (TSRO) would be announced in 2018. In early December, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) said it would spend $5.1 billion to buy Tesaro. But they also saw Clovis Oncology (CLVS), Sage and Puma Biotechnology (PBYI) getting deals. Challenges For Biotech Stocks In 2019 In 2019, investors expect Sarepta, Sage and Loxo to get deals, RBC analysts wrote. Sarepta is working on a gene therapy in a muscle-wasting disease. Sage has a number of drugs to treat depression. Loxo just gained approval for a cancer treatment. Large biotech stocks are facing a number of patent expirations in the mid-2020s. Among those, RBC notes a Gilead Sciences' (GILD) HIV drug in 2025, Celgene's cancer treatment Revlimid in 2024-26, and Amgen's (AMGN) arthritis and psoriasis drug Enbrel in 2019. When those patents go by the wayside, other biotech stocks and pharmaceutical firms can look to create copycat drugs — either generics or biosimilars. These likely lower-cost versions pose significant competition for Gilead, Celgene and Amgen. "In the meantime, the need to make up for lost sources of revenue and stimulate growth may encourage future M&A," RBC analysts said. They are "very bullish" on the prospects for mergers among biotech stocks in 2019.
根据加拿大皇家银行资本市场(RBC Capital Markets )的数据,Sarepta Therapeutics(SRPT),Sage Therapeutics(SAGE)和Loxo Oncology(LOXO)是2019年生物科技股中最有可能被收购的候选股票。 生物技术股之间的合并未能达到分析师对2018的预期热度。但RBC分析师在本月早些时候发布的一份报告中称,这种情况可能会在2019年发生。 他们写道:“随着小型/中型股估值的'正常化'以及大型生物制药公司现在处于执行兼并购的优势地位,我们认为很多分析师预测的并购会最终发生。” 生物技术股价格已连续下跌八个交易日。在今天的股市,股价下跌了不到1%。周一的最佳股票为瑞士基因编译公司的(CRSP)和Editas医药的(EDIT)。 2019年或是生物技术股票的购股狂欢年? 从2018年起,分析师就预测生物科技股将被大幅收购。RBC分析师曾预计在生物科技股中进行34笔交易。在给客户的一份报告中,RBC分析师写道,总体而言,生物科技领域从2018年起到目前为止一直保持着应有的交易节奏。 最庞大的交易是武田制药(Takeda Pharmaceuticals)与Shire(SHPG)之间 620亿美元的大规模合并 - 该交易预计将创建一家可与Bristol-Myers Squibb(BMY)相匹敌的制药公司。然而,武田和夏尔的合并是个例外。 而且,除了此次合并以外,其他交易的累计价值为500亿美元,远低于1000亿美元的预期。 “总的来说,我们认为关键的一点是,大型生物制药公司更倾向于较小的早期交易,私营公司或折扣的后期资产,而不是我们在这个领域的历史上曾见证的价值150亿美元以上的收购。”分析师表示。 为什么生物科技股的合并可能会增加 不过,RBC分析师预计交易的步伐将在2019年加速。2018年,生物科技股的并购交易数量增加了78%。不过,这些交易的总价值从2014-15财年近1150亿美元的高位下滑了约57%。 2018年宣布的八项交易价值超过10亿美元,高于2016 - 17年的五项。在2018年的交易中,值得注意的是赛诺菲(SNY)以116亿美元收购Bioverativ,Celgene(CELG)以90亿美元收购Juno Therapeutics,以及诺华(NVS)以87亿美元收购AveXis。 2018年的交易主要集中在肿瘤学和新兴基因/细胞疗法领域。在2019年,RBC预计生物技术股票的交易将在肿瘤学和神经学领域,其他领域则可能是非酒精性脂肪性肝炎或NASH。 投资者猜对了一点,那就是AveXis,Juno和Tesaro(TSRO)的交易于2018年宣布。在12月初,葛兰素史克(GSK)宣布,将斥资 51亿美元购买Tesaro。但他们也预见了Clovis Oncology(CLVS),Sage和Puma Biotechnology(PBYI)能够取得交易。 2019年生物技术股票面临的挑战 RBC分析师写道,2019年,投资者预计Sarepta,Sage和Loxo将取得交易。Sarepta正在研究一种治疗肌肉萎缩症的基因疗法。Sage有许多治疗抑郁症的药物。Loxo刚获得癌症治疗的批准。 大型生物技术股将在20世纪20年代中期面临许多专利到期的问题。其中,RBC指出吉利德科学公司 “(GILD)的一项HIV药物将在2025年到期,Celgene公司的抗癌药物雷利米得将在2024-26年间到期以及安进(AMGN)治疗关节炎和牛皮癣的药物Enbrel将在2019年到期。 当这些专利到期后,其他生物技术股和制药公司将能够制造仿制药或生物仿制药。这些成本一般较低的药物会对Gilead,Celgene和Amgen构成巨大的竞争。 “与此同时,弥补收入来源和刺激经济增长的需求可能会鼓励未来的并购,”RBC分析师表示。他们对2019年生物科技股的并购前景“非常乐观”。