USA —Activist investor Elliott Investment Management has acquired a stake exceeding US$1 billion in BioMarin Pharmaceutical, a prominent player in the California-based biotech landscape in a revelation reported exclusively by Reuters.

This significant development marks a pivotal moment for both entities, as they engage in extensive discussions about the future trajectory of the biotech company.

Over the past months, Elliott has been actively in talks with BioMarin, though the precise contours of these discussions remain shrouded in mystery.

The nature of potential changes that Elliott envisions for BioMarin is still unclear, adding an air of anticipation to the unfolding narrative.

Amidst this strategic investment, BioMarin is undergoing a leadership shuffle. The recent announcement of the retirement of Chairman and CEO Jean-Jacques Bienaimé, effective December 1, signals a changing of the guard.

Alexander Hardy, the current CEO of Genentech, is set to take the helm as the new President and Chief Executive of BioMarin, simultaneously assuming a position on the company’s board of directors.

The repercussions of these developments reverberate in BioMarin’s market performance. Responding to the Reuters article, the company’s stock surged by approximately 8.5% on Tuesday morning.

With a market capitalization exceeding US$14 billion, BioMarin stands at the forefront of the biotech industry, navigating through a phase of transformation.

In its latest financial disclosure, BioMarin reported robust third-quarter results, boasting a total revenue of US$581.3 million, reflecting a remarkable 15% year-over-year growth.

The company’s financial prowess extends to the first nine months of 2023, with a revenue of US$1.77 billion, indicating a 14% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year.

Fueling BioMarin’s impressive financial performance is the success of its achondroplasia therapy, Voxzogo (vosoritide).

Garnering US$123.1 million in the third quarter alone, Voxzogo witnessed a 155% increase in revenue from the same period in 2022.

Notably, Voxzogo, granted accelerated approval in November 2021, is now the sole FDA-approved therapy for achondroplasia in children. A recent label expansion further widened its scope, allowing treatment for even younger patients.

However, amidst this triumph, BioMarin faced a setback with its hemophilia A gene therapy, Roctavian (valoctocogene roxaparvovec-rvox).

Despite securing FDA approval in June 2023, the therapy’s sales in the third quarter fell short of expectations, generating less than US$1 million.

Originally projected to yield US$100- US$200 million in 2023, BioMarin revised its outlook in April, reducing sales expectations to US$50- US$100 million.

The most recent guidance is even more conservative, forecasting Roctavian revenues of less than US$10 million.

In tandem with this, BioMarin narrowed its full-year total revenue outlook from an initial range of $2.38 billion to US$2.5 billion to a revised estimate of US$2.39 billion to US$2.47 billion.

These adjustments in financial projections underscore the dynamic landscape in which BioMarin and its newly influential stakeholder, Elliott Investment Management, navigate together.

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