Tags: Biogen | profitable | MS | BIIB

Biogen Idec Stays Profitable On MS Focus

By    |   Thursday, 02 February 2012 08:09 AM

Biogen Idec (BIIB) is an international pharmaceutical company that has been reliably robust in recent years, thanks largely to its profitable focus on treatments for multiple sclerosis.

Biogen has driven consistent growth in its revenue and profit with top-selling treatments for multiple sclerosis, as well as for lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis, and other diseases. The company's revenue and net income increased annually from 2005 through 2010 and may have grown again last year. Patients in more than 90 countries use Biogen products.

The Weston, Mass. company is getting almost all of its income from sales of three products: Avonex and Tysabri for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and Rituxan for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Biogen's revenue from sales of Tysabri jumped 26 percent, year over year, in last year's third quarter, while revenue from both Avonex and Rituxan grew at single-digit rates.

Biogen faces plenty of competition from rival companies that develop similar drugs. Avonex and Tysabri, for example, compete with drugs for multiple sclerosis marketed by Bayer (BAYRY) in Germany, Switzerland's Novartis (NVSEF) and Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA).

Among Biogen's development-stage drugs is an oral compound called BG-12 for patients with multiple sclerosis. In late October, Biogen reported positive results from Phase III clinical trials of BG-12 as a treatment for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which is the most common form of MS, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Positive trial

BioTrends Research Group in Exton, Pa., said in a recent report on the development of multiple sclerosis treatments that the drug industry's awareness of BG-12 "increased significantly as a result of the positive Phase III clinical trial data released in October." BioTrends also reported that Biogen's Tysabri is part of a new wave of disease-modifying agents, or DMAs, are "continuing to pull (market) share away from the more established DMAs" for multiple sclerosis.

Biogen's fourth quarter earnings per share reached $1.22, up 23 percent on the period a year ago.

Revenues for the full year came to $5 billion, an increase of 7 percent from 2010. Diluted, adjusted earnings per share for the year hit $5.04, up 28 percent from the year before.

Biogen Idec next reports on May 1.

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