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 thus have above-average sales and profit-growth potential. Besides profitable large cap companies, BB Biotech is building up its investments in promising small and mid cap companies. 

The team of investment experts is concentrating not only on established target areas such as oncology, orphan diseases and neurological indications, but also on the technologies of tomorrow that could lead to novel treatment methods with attractive therapeutic profiles and substantial economic rewards. These future technologies include RNA platforms and cell and gene therapies. A total return of 15% p.a. over a medium- to longer-term investment horizon is targeted.

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. At least 90% of its shareholdings must be in listed companies, while always holding more than 50% of its assets in equity investments. Corporate bonds are an alternative primarily when stock market trends are negative. Options on the stocks of portfolio companies can be bought and sold at opportune times and as a means of hedging currency exposure.

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. 

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 AG 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 four-year time frame. The team is guided by its convictions, not by benchmark considerations. 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. Each investment case is constantly monitored and evaluated within the scope of our stringent and disciplined risk management process and corrective action will be taken if and when necessary. 

BB Biotech´s investment portfolio is systematically reviewed for sustainability risks and breaches of elementary human rights. Bellevue Asset Management AG is a signatory of UN Principles for Responsible Investment. Besides upholding strict exclusion criteria – such as serious controversies that violate universal norms regarding the environment, human rights or good corporate governance – environmental, social and governance factors are integrated into the fundamental analysis of every company through an ESG integration process in which the associated financial risks or opportunities are evaluated with respect to future stock market performance. The Investment Management Team strive to have an active and constructive dialogue with the management or other relevant stakeholders of the portfolio companies regarding environmental, social and governance aspects – and via proxy voting we use our voting rights actively at the general meetings.

All investments of BB Biotech AG are aligned with UN´s Sustainable Development Goal number 3: “Good Health and Well-being. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. The investments of BB Biotech AG provide companies with capital in order to allow for drug development to ensure and improve healthy lives and well-being. Therapies to address high unmet medical needs such as for patients suffering from rare disorders, cancer, neurological diseases and chronic cardiovascular and metabolic disorders etc. are key investment selection criteria.   

BB Biotech’s investment portfolio will usually consist of between 20 to 35 biotechnology companies. There are estblished, large cap companies as well as small and mid cap companies in the portfolio. Smaller positions will be taken in innovative biotech companies with promising R&D pipelines. From a regional perspective, the US biotech sector has displayed a high level of innovation and so this regional bias is also reflected in BB Biotech’s portfolio. The predominance of the US biotech industry can be traced to   the country’s stellar research clusters, industry-friendly regulatory frameworks and myriad financing options, among other factors. 

New investments in small and 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. Because it is an holding company, BB Biotech has the flexibility to increase portfolio weightings considerably over time as a position increases in value. 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. All positions and their valuations are continually monitored, taking into account their growth potential and other aspects, and will be reduced if and when appropriate. BB Biotech may deploy borrowing to enhance long-term capital growth and gearing can be deployed flexibly up to around 15% of Net Asset Value.