Investment Strategy

BB Biotech invests in fast-growing biotechnology companies that are developing and marketing innovative drugs. It focuses on biotech companies whose products address areas of significant unmet medical needs and that are generating above-average sales and profit growth. The focus is primarily on profitable mid- and large-cap companies as well as smaller biotech companies with attractive R&D pipelines, preferably with products already in the final stages of clinical development. A total return of 15% p.a. over a medium- to longer-term investment horizon is targeted.

Focus on equity investments

The asset classes available to BB Biotech are direct investments in the shares of listed companies, equity interests in unlisted companies, corporate bonds, and options on a range of underlying assets. BB Biotech invests almost exclusively in stocks for liquidity and risk/return reasons. Investments in private companies can account for no more than 10% of the portfolio. These investments will generally be increased if stock markets advance over a longer period of time. Corporate bonds are an alternative primarily when stock market trends are negative. Options on the stocks of portfolio companies will be bought and sold at opportune times and as a means of hedging currency exposure.

Fundamental, bottom-up investment process

Exhaustive, multi-stage due diligence precedes the selection of individual investments. We must have a thorough understanding of every company we invest in. Before an investment is made, the team analyzes a company’s financial statements in detail and assesses its competitive environment, R&D pipeline, and patent portfolio as well as its customers’ perceptions of its products and services. Close contact with company executives is of high importance to us in this due diligence process, but also afterwards, as we believe that it takes strong leaders to achieve strong results. Having such a profound understanding of the companies in its portfolio improves BB Biotech’s investment tactics, allowing it, for example, to exit a position in a timely fashion if there are signs of a significant deterioration in a company’s fundamentals.

BB Biotech relies on the long-standing experience of its distinguished Board of Directors and on the fundamental analysis of the experienced Investment Management Team of Bellevue Asset Management Group when making its investment decisions. It can also turn to an extensive international network of physicians and specialists in individual sub-segments of the biotech industry for further support and advice. The Investment Management Team creates detailed financial models for all portfolio holdings and they must provide compelling arguments that these holdings have the potential to double in value over a fouryear time frame. Upside potential is driven in most cases by the power of innovation, the launch of new products for serious or significant illnesses and successful company management.

Portfolio with clear areas of focus

BB Biotech’s investment portfolio will usually consist of 20 to 35 biotechnology companies. This will include five to eight large core positions, which together will account for up to two-thirds of the portfolio. Due to their substantial portfolio weighting, the core portfolio companies must have sound business models and be generating both revenues and profits. No single core position will have a weighting of more than 25%. Smaller positions will be taken in innovative biotech companies with promising R&D pipelines. Europe’s biotech sector has produced few truly attractive investment opportunities in recent years, but there has been a wide variety of fast-growing companies to choose from in the USA. This situation is also reflected in BB Biotech’s portfolio. As a result of our fundamental stock-picking approach, more than four-fifths of the current portfolio companies are based in the USA.

S-curve concept

New investments in mid-cap companies will have a weighting of between 0.5% and a maximum of 4% to ensure that both upside potential and R&D risks are adequately addressed. Technically, BB Biotech has the flexibility to increase portfolio weightings considerably. Smaller positions may become a top holding as their business develops and milestones such as positive Phase III outcomes, drug approvals, the successful marketing of products, and a sustainable flow of profits are achieved. The top holdings are continually monitored, taking into account their valuations, growth potential and other aspects, and will be reduced if and when appropriate.