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 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. 

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 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. 

Benchmark-agnostic portfolio with clear focus

BB Biotech’s investment portfolio will usually consist of 20 up to a maximum of 35 biotechnology companies. There are established, large cap companies as well as small and mid cap companies in the portfolio. No single core position will have a weighting of more than 25%, however. 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 frame-works and myriad financing options, among other factors.

S-curve concept

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 investment 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.