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Holly LaFon
Holly LaFon
Articles (8839)  | Author's Website |

First Eagle Reduces Halozyme Therapeutics Stake

The firm has a sizable gain on cancer treatment company

February 05, 2018 | About:

First Eagle Investment (Trades, Portfolio) reduced its investment in Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) by 29.7% on Dec. 31, the firm said Monday.

The sell eliminated 1,913,900 shares of the company from First Eagle’s portfolio, leaving the firm with 4,531,081 shares. Its stake represents 3.18% of Halozyme’s shares outstanding and 0.21% of the portfolio. When First Eagle sold the shares, their share price averaged $20.26, giving the firm a strong gain from its average buy price of $10.58.

Halozyme is a biotechnology company focused on cancer therapies targeting tumors. Shares rocketed higher in mid-September when the company announced a boost in 2017 financial guidance, expecting net revenue in a range of $245 million to $260 million, an increase from $115 million to $130 million. Fueling the push higher were two fresh licensing agreements with Bristol-Myers Squibb for its drug-delivery technology, Enhanze.

Enhanze facilitates subcutaneous drug delivery for certain therapies administered at the same time. With Enhanze, patients can receive some treatments under the skin, rather than intravenously, which has benefits including reduced nursing time, limited waste and lower health care cost.

The company also said it expected to deliver cash flow between $50 million and $60 million, higher than its previously expected cash burn range of $75 million to $85 million.

In a further update, Halozyme on Jan. 9 forecast 25-30% growth in royalty revenue in 2018, with the amount possibly reaching as high as $1 billion in 2027. A continuation of partners creating products in concert with Halozyme’s Enhanze technology drove the improved outlook.

"We enter 2018 building on the most successful year in Halozyme history, where we established our ENHANZE technology as the go-to standard to convert IV therapies to subcutaneous delivery, potentially helping our partners improve their competitive advantage and easing the treatment burden for patients," Dr. Helen Torley, Halozyme’s CEO, said in a presentation at a JPMorgan Healthcare Conference.

The company has eight partners and said it expected several to initiate three phase 1 studies in 2018, in addition to the four phase 3 registration studies Janssen began in 2017.

Halozyme is set to release its financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 30 on Feb. 20 at 4:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time.

Founded in 1864, First Eagle Investment (Trades, Portfolio) Management is an independent investment management firm with $114 billion in assets under management.

See First Eagle’s portfolio here.

About the author:

Holly LaFon
I'm a financial journalist with a master of science in journalism from Medill at Northwestern University.

Visit Holly LaFon's Website


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