Company Profile - Blueprint Medicines
Blueprint Medicines was launched in April 2011 with a $40 million fund provided by Third Rock Ventures and F-Prime Capital Partners. It has since raised additional capital and went public in December 2016 with a $150 million IPO. Despite still operating at a loss due to not yet having brought its products to the market, the company's total stock value is estimated at nearly $3.6 billion. Blueprint is entirely focused on the development of kinase inhibitors to fight various cancers, with some of its top competitors including Novarta, Pfizer, and Bayer AG.
Below is a deep dive into Blueprint's financials and product line.
BLUEPRINTS MEDICINES' FINANCIAL POSITION
Blueprint Medicines was launched in April 2011, with a $40 million Series A venture funding round, with Third Rock Ventures and F-Prime Capital Partners providing the capital. This was followed by an investment of unknown size by Eight Roads Ventures in 2012. In 2014, Blueprint received a $25 million Series B funding round led by Nextech Invest, along with Third Rock, F-Prime, Casdin Capital, and the Biotechnology Value Fund, followed by an additional $50 million funding round spread among at least eight investors.
On December 8, 2016, Blueprint went public, raising $150 million in its IPO. This IPO offered five million shares at $25 each "while giving underwriters an opportunity to purchase an additional 750,000 shares." Within a day, the shares had already risen to a price of $27.72.
A reported 95.25% of Blueprint's 45.8 million shares of stock are held by institutions, representing a present value of nearly $3.6 billion (as of April 17, 2019's price of $75.79 per share). Of these, the top institutions (representing about 2/5ths of the total stock value) are FMR LLC, the Vanguard Group, Blackrock, Price T. Rowe Associates, and the Wellington Management Group.
In 2018, Blueprint Medicines garnered $44.5 million in "collaboration revenue," up from $21.4 million in 2017; however, they operated at a loss to the tune of $236.6 million. This is because they are still in the product development phase of operations. Their annual report notes that they have thus far "not generated any revenue from our most advanced drug candidates, avapritinib, BLU-667, BLU554 and BLU-782," due to not yet obtaining marketing approval from the FDA. This means that they are heavily dependent on "a combination of public and private equity offerings, debt financings, collaborations, strategic alliances and licensing arrangements" for their cash needs.
As of February 2019, Blueprint has 217 full-time employees, including 76 with a doctorate degree. Of these, 159 are directly "engaged in research and development activities."
BLUEPRINT'S PRODUCT LINE
Blueprint's focus is on developing kinase inhibitors for "gastrointestinal stromal tumors, liver cancer and a kind of mast cell disease." In a sense, then, all of Blueprint's products operate in the same therapeutic area, though each is being developed for a different type of tumors. The primary value proposition of the drugs Blueprint is currently designing is that they will provide more selective kinase blocking than their competition.
However, the company expects to have at least two of their products marketed int the US by 2020. Avapritinib and BLU-667 are currently in late clinical development for at least some of their target diseases, while BLU-554 is still in early clinical development and BLU-782 is barely out of the discovery phase. Four other "undisclosed target" drugs are still in discovery.
Below is a complete rundown of the drugs Blueprint has under development along with a list of current and possible future competition for each. As we cannot determine which drugs under development are the biggest threats to Blueprint's product line, we will list the existing competing products in a bullet-list form first, followed by Blueprint's own lists of companies developing similar products.
Avapritinib is being developed for "advanced GIST and for SM," aka gastrointestinal stromal tumors and secondary malignancies. The only current products on the market in direct competition with avapritinib are
Of these products, Blueprint considers imatinib to be the only other "highly effective" therapy for advanced GIST. However, according to Blueprint's own documents, avapritinib may face competition from similar projects from "AB Science S.A., Allakos Inc., ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, AROG Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Celldex Therapeutics, Inc., and Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, LLC."
BLU-667 is "for patients with RET-altered NSCLC [non-small cell lung cancer], MTC [medullary thyroid cancer] and other advanced solid tumors." There are no products currently on the market which directly compete with BLU-667, but the following market-approved drugs are noted as operating in the same space:
(Note that in accordance with the report criteria, we have confined our list of direct, current competitors to three. We have not attempted to determine whether these are the "top" three, as evaluating this would take us beyond the scope of a single Wonder request. Further research into BLU-667's competition may be advisable.)
BLU-667 may also face competition from drugs currently being developed by "ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, AstraZeneca plc, Boston Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Eisai Inc., Exelixis, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Loxo Oncology, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company, Mirati Therapeutics, Inc., Novartis AG, Pfizer Inc. and Roche."
BLU-554 is being developed to combat "advanced HCC," hepatocellular carcinoma, "driven by FGFR4." The current products on the market which compete with BLU-554 are:
The known companies developing similar drugs are "Abbisko Therapeutics Co., Ltd, AstraZeneca plc, Bayer AG, Celgene Corporation, Eisai Inc., H3 Biomedicine Inc., Incyte Corporation, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis AG, Sanofi S.A., Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., U3 Pharma GmbH, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited, and Xoma Ltd."
Finally, BLU-782 is being developed for FOP, or fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. As in the case of BLU-667, this drug does not face any competitors which have already received market approval. Possible competing drugs are currently under development by "BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Clementia Pharmaceuticals Inc., La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc."
While Blueprint's own annual report discloses concerns that one or more products being developed by their competitors could potentially beat them to the market and establish an early share, the company seems to be in a solid position overall, being primarily owned by institutional investors who seem content to play the long game (several being early venture capital investors). Though currently operating at a loss, Blueprint expects to market two of its signature products next year, and while these products have some existing competition, only one (Novarta's imatinib) is regarded by Blueprint's team to be close to the level of its own product.