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Biogen unveils name for hemophilia drug spinoff: Bioverativ

This undated photo provided by Biogen shows new signage in front of one of the biotechnology company's buildings in Cambridge, Mass. Biogen Idec Inc. is shortening its name to just Biogen as of Monday, March 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Biogen) kendallsquare100
Biogen via AP
Biogen will spin off its hemophilia drug business as a separate company early next year.

The hemophilia drug franchise that Biogen Inc. plans to spin off as a separate company early next year has been given a name: Bioverativ.

Bioverativ will market Biogen’s two hemophilia drugs, Eloctate and Alprolix, both approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2014, and work to develop other treatments for blood disorders. It will be led by chief executive John G. Cox, who has been the Biogen executive vice president for pharmaceuticals operation and technology.

The name Bioverativ “creates a clear connection to our Biogen heritage and biotech focus,” Cox said in a statement Tuesday. The new company, which will be based somewhere in the Boston area, will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol BIVV.

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Biogen, the world’s leading maker of multiple sclerosis drugs, disclosed its plans to spin off its hemophilia business in May. The company said it will make a regulatory filing later this week registering Bioverativ as a new company and will unveil a logo at a later date.

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Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that two larger drug makers, Merck & Co. and Allergan PLC, had approached Biogen about a potential acquisition. But the Cambridge company, which recently announced George Scangos will step down as chief executive in the coming months, has not received a formal offer. And Allergan chief executive Brent Sauders said on a conference call Monday that his company is “not focused on any large transformational” deals.

Biogen acquired Eloctate, which treats hemophilia A, and Alprolix, which treats hemophilia B, through its $120 million buyout of Syntonix Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Waltham in 2007. The two drugs had combined sales of $554 million last year, about 5 percent of Biogen’s overall revenue of $10.8 billion.

Robert Weisman can be reached at robert.weisman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.

Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect ticker symbol for Bioverativ.