William Blair Appoints New Biotech Analyst, Initiates on Two Companies

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

William Blair, a global investment banking and asset management firm, is pleased to announce that it is expanding its coverage through a new appointment in the biotechnology equity research team.

"Recent advancements in the medical sciences have increased our knowledge of diseases that were previously thought untreatable, and the biotechnology sector remains on the brink of therapeutic breakthroughs," said John Moore, William Blair's head of institutional equities, sales, trading, and research. "Several milestones in cell and gene therapy, immunology, neurology, and rare disease have led to newly approved therapies that meaningfully improve patient outcomes, and the pace is not slowing. In alignment with our commitment to providing our clients with differentiated insights into this vital sector, we are excited to announce a strategic expansion of our biotechnology equity research team."

As part of the expansion of its biotechnology franchise, William Blair has announced the promotion of Myles Minter, Ph.D., to analyst on the biotechnology equity research team. This strategic expansion will allow the team to further unique investment insights within the field. Minter will increase the number of analysts covering biotechnology to five and form part of William Blair's dedication to providing best-in-class services in this pivotal sector. The William Blair biotechnology equity research team is headed by Tim Lugo, alongside senior analysts Andy Hsieh, Ph.D., Matt Phipps, Ph.D., and Raju Prasad, Ph.D.

Supported by a growing pool of associates, the analyst team's collective expertise now spans cell and gene therapy, immunology, oncology, neurosciences, and rare diseases. Significant advancements in these fields have triggered interest by institutional investors, creating greater need for in-depth research coverage to provide novel ideas for portfolio managers.

"The pace and complexity of innovation in the biotechnology sector is ever-expanding, leading to significant effects on our healthcare system," said John O'Toole, William Blair's director of equity research. "By strategically expanding our biotechnology equity research team, we reaffirm William Blair's commitment to staying at the forefront of this innovation and providing unique insights into investment opportunities within the sector."

In conjunction with his promotion, Minter initiated coverage of Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. (AXSM $26.84) and Minerva Neurosciences Inc. (NERV $8.00), which are both focused on developing therapies to treat disorders of the central nervous system.

William Blair is the premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. We provide advisory services, strategies, and solutions to meet our clients' evolving needs. As an independent and employee-owned firm, together with our strategic partners, we operate in more than 20 offices worldwide.*

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*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.

William Blair or an affiliate does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. This report is not intended to provide personal investment advice. The opinions and recommendations herein do not take into account individual client circumstances, objectives, or needs and are not intended as recommendations of particular securities, financial instruments, or strategies to particular clients. The recipient of this report must make its own independent decisions regarding any securities or financial instruments mentioned herein.

William Blair or an affiliate is a market maker in the securities of Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. and Minerva Neurosciences Inc.

William Blair or an affiliate expects to receive or intends to seek compensation for investment banking services from Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. and Minerva Neurosciences Inc. or an affiliate within the next three months.

Officers and employees of William Blair or its affiliates (other than research analysts) may have a financial interest in the securities of Axsome Therapeutics, Inc. and and Minerva Neurosciences Inc.

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Additional information is available upon request.

Current Ratings Distribution (as of 9/17/19)

Coverage Universe
Outperform (Buy): 67%
Market Perform (Hold): 32%
Underperform (Sell): 1%

Inv. Banking Relationships*
Outperform (Buy): 19%
Market Perform (Hold): 7%
Underperform (Sell): 0%

* Percentage of companies in each rating category that are investment banking clients, defined as companies for which William Blair has received compensation for investment banking services within the past 12 months.

The compensation of the research analyst is based on a variety of factors, including the quality and accuracy of research, client feedback, contributions to other firm departments, competitive factors, and firm profitability.


Stock ratings and valuation methodologies: William Blair & Company, L.L.C. uses a three-point system to rate stocks. Individual ratings reflect the expected performance of the stock relative to the broader market (generally the S&P 500, unless otherwise indicated) over the next 12 months. The assessment of expected performance is a function of near-, intermediate-, and long-term company fundamentals, industry outlook, confidence in earnings estimates, valuation (and our valuation methodology), and other factors. Outperform (O) – stock expected to outperform the broader market over the next 12 months; Market Perform (M) – stock expected to perform approximately in line with the broader market over the next 12 months; Underperform (U) – stock expected to underperform the broader market over the next 12 months; not rated (NR) – the stock is not currently rated. The valuation methodologies include (but are not limited to) price-to-earnings multiple (P/E), relative P/E (compared with the relevant market), P/E-to-growth-rate (PEG) ratio, market capitalization/revenue multiple, enterprise value/EBITDA ratio, discounted cash flow, and others. Stock ratings and valuation methodologies should not be used or relied upon as investment advice. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to future performance.

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