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2014-04-17

BB Biotech: Solid fundamental progress in the first quarter 2014

BB BIOTECH AG / BB Biotech: Solid fundamental progress in the first quarter
2014. Processed and transmitted by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions. The issuer
is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.
Interim Report of BB Biotech AG as of March 31, 2014

BB Biotech's portfolio reflects strong drug launches and key clinical events

The Nasdaq Biotech Index advanced 4.3% (in USD) in the first quarter. After
increased momentum in January and February, the market showed pronounced
volatility in March, driven by macroeconomic events and attention to drug
pricing. Yet, the fundamentals of the sector remain strong and positive
regulatory and clinical newsflow remains robust. Consequently, BB Biotech
AG's shares ended the first quarter up 15.0% (in CHF), 15.5% (in EUR) and
16.1% (in USD), 11.8% higher than the benchmark index (in USD). Gilead's
Sovaldi, for hepatitis C, is set to be the most financially rewarding drug
launch in history and Actelion's Opsumit for PAH continues to perform well in
the early days of its launch. Medivation presented convincing Phase III data
for its prostate cancer drug Xtandi. Endocyte reported positive results for
its personalized medicine Vintafolide for lung cancer, while also gaining a
positive CHMP vote for conditional approval in Europe for ovarian cancer.
Implementing the policy
established
in 2013, BB Biotech AG executed a cash distribution of CHF 7.00 per share
corresponding to a yield of 5% of the average share price in December 2013.

Sector in positive territory but more trading volatility in the first quarter
The upward trend of the biotech sector continued in the first quarter 2014
with the Nasdaq Biotech Index (NBI) gaining 4.3%, performing better than the
broader S&P 500 Index, which gained 1.8% in the same timeframe (in USD). The
first two months of the quarter represented strong continued growth as in
2013, driven by successful drug launches, strong fourth quarter 2013 numbers,
and key data read-outs.

However, in March the sector pulled back on concerns around pricing of
Gilead's Sovaldi, which had a spill-over effect on the sector. Gilead appears
to be in a good position for pricing negotiations given the efficacy and
advantages of HCV cures to the healthcare system. Gilead has expressed
confidence that this issue can be resolved.

BB Biotech's performance for the first quarter 2014
BB Biotech's performance was driven mainly by the mid-cap holdings. In
contrast, larger-cap names traded side-ways or down after a very strong 2013.

The share price of BB Biotech increased by double digits in the first quarter
2014 - adding 15.0% in CHF and 15.5% in EUR. These first quarter results
included the tax-efficient cash distribution of CHF 7.00 - while the Net
Asset Value (NAV) increased 2.8% in CHF, 3.6% in EUR and 3.8% in USD
(including the cash distribution of CHF 7.00 per share).

BB Biotech's portfolio continues to perform well based on strong fundamentals
The first quarter performance was driven by drug launches and key clinical
data releases from BB Biotech holdings:

* Isis ' SMNRx, an antisense compound for spinal muscular atrophy,
demonstrated promising Phase II data in infants and children where no other
therapies currently exist. The Phase III study is scheduled to begin this
year.
* Medivation 's Xtandi, which is already approved for post-chemo prostate
cancer, presented full Phase III data in the pre-chemotherapy setting at a
medical conference. The results demonstrated efficacy and safety, setting
it up as a potential preferred drug for these patients.
* Endocyte 's Vintafolide, a personalized medicine / drug conjugate therapy,
demonstrated positive data in advanced lung cancer and received a positive
opinion in Europe for conditional approval in advanced ovarian cancer.
* Gilead launched Sovaldi, a first in class nucleotide analog polymerase
inhibitor for the treatment of hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infected patients,
in combination with ribavirin for HCV genotype 2 and genotype 3 infected
patients, and in combination with peg-interferon and ribavirin for the
treatment of HCV genotype 1 infected patients.
* Actelion launched Opsumit, a novel endothelin receptor antagonist (ERA) for
the treatment of PAH, with a highly differentiated product label compared
to the currently marketed ERAs.
* Pharmacyclics/JNJ received an extended label for its bruton's tyrosine
kinase inhibitor Imbruvica for the treatment of patients with CLL (chronic
lymphocytic lymphoma).
* Celgene received FDA approval for Otezla, making it the first oral drug
approved for active psoriatic arthritis.

Following strong 2013 performance, Celgene's shares underperformed in the
first quarter due to a court hearing overhang regarding its lead drug
Revlimid and lack of major catalysts to start 2014. Gilead received a letter
from three US Congress Members requesting justification of the pricing of
Sovaldi. While Gilead's response is awaited, BB Biotech believes the pricing
reflects the strong clinical profile of the drug. Clinical uptake and
financial data for the launch has exceeded expectations. Nonetheless, the
controversy on pricing may have fueled the sector correction in March. BB
Biotech believes that the fundamentals of the sector are intact and
valuations remain attractive.

First quarter portfolio actions
In the first quarter, the management team of BB Biotech used the strong sector
performance of January and February as a profit taking opportunity - selling
several positions in the portfolio. The weaker sector performance in March,
despite intact fundamentals, provided us with a buying opportunity. One new
position was initiated, Puma Biotechnology. Puma is developing a novel drug
for breast cancer which could surpass the efficacy seen with
GlaxoSmithKlines's Tykerb. Furthermore, if studies in early breast cancer are
positive, the potential for the drug could be considerable.

Outlook
The continued success of BB Biotech will be based on diligent selection of
companies with drugs that have the potential of important medicines for
critical diseases.

BB Biotech believes that Medivation's Xtandi has the potential to become the
standard of care in chemotherapy-naïve prostate cancer patients. As the only
drug of its class with data on clinical outcomes included in labeling by
regulators, Actelion's Opsumit is highly differentiated and should therefore
capture significant market share. Furthermore, if the data readout for
Actelion's Selexipag, expected this summer, is also positive, then the firm
could have the means to grow the PAH market substantially. Pharmacyclic's
Imbruvica, for lymphoma indications, is another drug that may have
blockbuster potential.

Gilead's all-oral combination therapy of Sovaldi and Ledipasvir is another
highly anticipated potential approval. Data published to date suggest that
this combination can eliminate the need for PEG-interferon in most patients
in HCV. The approval may come as soon as the second half of 2014.

New orphan drugs are also in late stage clinical development to address rare
and severe diseases. In addition, BB Biotech is invested in certain platform
technologies, such as the RNA-based medicines (antisense and RNAi), antibody
drug conjugates, small molecule drug conjugates as well as novel delivery
approaches for current intravenously administered biologics which show
promise.

2014 is expected to be another exciting biotech year with a stream of clinical
trial results, product approvals, and drug pipeline news.

BB Biotech believes that the sector remains attractively valued, with
large-cap names such as Gilead and Celgene trading at less than 20 times 2014
earnings and around 10-15 times 2015 earnings. Pipelines continue to deliver
innovative products, and other characteristics of the sector remain strong.
BB Biotech continues to anticipate strong sector performance and aims to
deliver double digit returns to investors.

The interim report as of March 31, 2014, and the webcast with the first
quarter update is available onwww.bbbiotech.com.

For further information:

Investor Relations
Bellevue Asset Management AG, Seestrasse 16, 8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland, tel.
+41 44 267 67 00
Dr. Silvia Schanz,ssc@bellevue.ch

Maria-Grazia Iten-Alderuccio,mga@bellevue.ch

Claude Mikkelsen,cmi@bellevue.ch

Media Relations
b-public AG, Pfingstweidstrasse 6, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland, tel. +41 79 423
22 28
Thomas Egger,teg@b-public.ch

Bellevue Asset Management AG, Seestrasse 16, 8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland, tel.
+41 44 267 67 00
Tanja Chicherio,tch@bellevue.ch

www.bbbiotech.com

Company profile

BB Biotech invests in companies in the fast growing market of biotechnology
and is one of the world's largest investors in this sector with more than CHF
2.1 billion in assets under management. BB Biotech is listed in Switzerland,
Germany and Italy. Its investments are focused on listed companies that are
developing and commercializing novel medical treatments and cures. BB
Biotech's investment selection process is guided by the fundamental research
and analysis of physicians and molecular biologists. Its Board of Directors
has many years of experience in industry and science.

Disclaimer
This release contains forward-looking statements and expectations as well as
assessments, beliefs and assumptions. Such statements are based on the
current expectations of BB Biotech, its directors and officers, and are,
therefore, subject to risks and uncertainties that may change over time. As
actual developments may significantly differ, BB Biotech and its directors
and officers accept no responsibility in that regard. All forward-looking
statements included in this release are made only as of the date of this
release and BB Biotech and its directors and officers assume no obligation to
update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future
events or other factors.

Composition of BB Biotech's portfolio as of March 31, 2014

(in % of securities, rounded values)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
|Celgene 11.9% |
|Actelion 11.8% |
|Isis Pharmaceuticals 10.7% |
|Gilead 9.7% |
|Incyte 8.7% |
| |
|Alexion Pharmaceuticals 4.3% |
|Novo Nordisk 4.1% |
|Vertex Pharmaceuticals ...

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