Biogen

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Biogen
Type Private
Industry Biotechnology
Headquarters Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Key people Stelios Papadopoulos, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board - Michel Vounatsos, CEO
Number of employees 7,350 (December 2015)

Biogen has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), has the first and only approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and is at the forefront of research into new medicines for neurological and neurodegenerative conditions. Led by world-class research and development, Biogen uses novel science and leading-edge technologies to create, commercialize, and manufacture trans formative therapies for patients with few or no treatment options. Our global manufacturing and supply network works to provide innovative, quality medicines wherever and whenever they are needed.

History

Biogen was founded in 1978 in Geneva by several prominent biologists, including Kenneth Murray of the University of Edinburgh, Phillip Allen Sharp of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Walter Gilbert of Harvard (who served as CEO during the start-up phase), Heinz Schaller, University of Heidelberg and Charles Weissmann, University of Zurich (who contributed the first product interferon alpha). Gilbert and Sharp were subsequently honored with Nobel Prizes: Gilbert was recognized in 1980 with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in understanding DNA sequencing, while Sharp received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for his discovery of split genes.

In 2003, Biogen merged with San Diego, California-based IDEC Pharmaceuticals (formed in 1986 by biotech pioneers Ivor Royston and Howard Birndorf) and adopted the name Biogen Idec. After the merge, Biogen Idec became the 3rd largest Biotechnology company in the world. Following shifts in research core areas, the company has since shortened its name, reverting to simply Biogen. Biogen stock is a component of several stock indices such as the S&P 100, S&P 500, S&P 1500, and NASDAQ-100 and the company is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol, BIIB.

In May 2006, the company announced it would acquire cancer specialist, Conforma Therapeutics for $250 million. Later in the same month, the company announced its intention to acquire Fumapharm AG, consolidating ownership of Fumaderm and BG-12, an oral fumarate, which is being studied for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.

One of the pioneers in biotechnology, Biogen today has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), has the first and only approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and is at the forefront of research into new medicines for neurological and neurodegenerative conditions. Led by world-class research and development, Biogen uses novel science and leading-edge technologies to create, commercialize, and manufacture transformative therapies for patients with few or no treatment options.

In January 2007, the company announced it would acquire Syntonix Pharmaceuticals for up to $120 million, gaining Syntonix's lead product for hemophilia B as well as the technology for developing inhalable treatments.

In February 2013, Bloomberg broke the news that Biogen was planning the pay Elan $3.25 billion for the full rights to Tysabri, used to treat multiple sclerosis.

In January 2015 the company announced it will acquire Convergence Pharmaceuticals for up to $675 million, with the acquisition aiming to accelerate the development of Convergence's pipeline, in-particular CNV1014802 – a Phase II small molecule sodium channel blocking candidate. In October 2015 the company announced it will lay off 11% of its workforce, effective immediately. <https://www.biogen.com/en_us/about-biogen/history.html>

Focus on Neuroscience

We believe that no other disease area holds as much need or as much promise for medical breakthroughs as neuroscience. Our focus on neuroscience, our deep scientific expertise and our courage to take risks make us leaders in the research and development of medicines to transform neuroscience to benefit society.

Controversies

  • Biogen’s DTC ad for multiple sclerosis pill Tecfidera has garnered its fair share of criticism from patients, "I am the first one to be encouraging, but your ad takes it beyond that," one patient blogger criticized. "Even people with 'normal' health will not hike, swim and go to the fair in one day and still look so good; someone with MS would be out of the day before they hit noon."[1]

Top 5 Recent Tweets

DateAuthorComment
December 08, 2019NPRBiotech company Biogen's latest analysis of its Alzheimer's drug supports its claim that the drug can slow mental d… https://t.co/svukNODoa5
December 06, 2019WSJBiotech company Biogen presents data for its experimental Alzheimer’s drug after terminating studies in March https://t.co/tYHhpdmANg
December 06, 2019ABCWorldNewsALZHEIMER’S DRUG: Drugmaker Biogen is claiming an experimental drug may slow Alzheimer’s disease, after introducing… https://t.co/YaPGQSukGy
December 14, 2019alzforumAt CTAD, Biogen argued that high exposure to aducanumab consistently moves biomarkers and slows cognitive decline,… https://t.co/3tlszfFxzx
December 14, 2019zorgnlPharmaScrip: Biogen’s Tau Antibody Fails In PSP, But Alzheimer’s Studies Continue https://t.co/AqCWOkwGl7 … https://t.co/cycTtEEzD6


[2]== Top 5 Recent News Headlines ==

Biogen is not a bad biotech stock pick says keith spights (TMFFishbiz), a recent report last May 21, 2017.Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) has enjoyed some good news lately. The spinal muscular atrophy drug that it licensed from Ionis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IONS) won U.S. regulatory approval in December, and the launch appears to be going well. The spin-off of its hemophilia business into a separate entity, Bioverativ (NASDAQ:BIVV), went without a hitch -- and Bioverativ's stock has racked up nice gains so far in 2017.Biogen shareholders have several things to worry about with headwinds in MS and a relatively shallow pipeline. Biogen isn't a bad stock to buy, though, with the significant potential for Spinraza and the possibility that Alzheimer's drug aducanumab could be a game-changer.

With appeals court ruling, Biogen escapes renewed fight over Tecfidera patient death by Eric Sagonowsky | May 16, 2017 12:08pm After a patient taking Biogen's Tecfidera died in 2014, the hot MS drug was slapped with a new FDA warning, lost ground in the marketplace—and soon, Biogen faced a securities lawsuit claiming it hid the negative fallout. Now, with a new ruling at the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals, Biogen has put that action to rest.

Based on statements from 10 confidential witnesses, the plaintiffs had argued that Biogen executives knowingly concealed damage to Tecfidera’s growth after that patient death. A district court previously tossed the case which named Biogen, former CEO George Scangos, former EVP Stuart Kingsley and CFO Paul Clancy. The plaintiffs appealed.

That effort turned out to be fruitless as the appeals court agreed with the earlier ruling, stating that the plaintiffs' claims didn’t meet a “rigorous standard” required of such securities suits. The plaintiffs contend that Biogen and its management didn’t disclose the true damage to Tecfidera following the patient death. In mid-2015, when the drugmaker finally lowered its sales guidance for the blockbuster MS drug, the company’s stock fell by more than 20% in one day.

In her opinion, U.S. Circuit Court Judge Sandra Lynch wrote that the “allegations here clearly fall short" of requirements. She added that the court wants to “discourage any expectation that there will be ‘leisurely repeated bites at the apple’” in appeals. Further undermining the plaintiffs' arguments was the fact that Biogen execs increased their share purchases during the time. The win in court follows another big victory for Biogen in a Tecfidera patent dispute after it fought off a challenge from Kyle Bass and his Coalition for Affordable Drugs earlier this year. Before that, the company agreed to a $1.25 billion patent settlement with Forward Pharma on the key MS med, which made up about 35% of Biogen’s sales last year.

After its 2013 launch, Biogen's big-selling oral MS option Tecfidera got off to a quick start, quickly surpassing Novartis' Gilenya and Sanofi's Aubagio, which each beat Biogen's med to the market. But increased competition and pricing pressure have taken a toll in recent years, hurting the med’s sales trajectory. In response to the slowdown, Biogen cut 800 staffers in 2015 and used part of the $250 million in annual savings for DTC advertising. The company’s TV ad was controversial but did the job, according to execs, and Biogen stopped advertising on TV last year when the campaign expired.

Recently, Biogen said on May 18th, 2017 that it has acquired a stroke medication from privately-held Remedy Pharmaceuticals for $120 million. The deal may also include additional milestone payments and royalties, the companies said. The drug, Cirara, is intended for a rare but severe type of stroke called large hemispheric infarction. The Food and Drug Administration recently gave Cirara orphan drug designation for severe cerebral edema in patients with acute strokes, which provides incentives for drugmakers to develop drugs for rare diseases. The regulator has previously given the drug a fast track designation, intended to speed up the development and review of certain drugs. Biogen shares declined a scant 0.14% in premarket trade on that day, but overall Shares have declined 13.0% over the last three months as reported by www.marketwatch.com.

Biogen did achieve some positive trends in an interim analysis it performed in a phase 1b trial in patients with early stage Alzheimer's disease. Just this past year in November of 2017 Biogen reported that aducanumab helped reduce amyloid plaques in Alzheimer's patients who gradually received an increase in doses. This data was presented at the Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's Disease (CTAD) meeting, Boston, November 1 - 4 of 2017. There were two pieces of data reported from the phase 1b study. The first set of data came from patients who were gradually increased in doses over a 24 month period, and another set of data showing patients who received fixed doses over a 36-month period. The fixed doses in the trial were: 3 mg/kg, 6 mg/kg or 10 mg/kg of aducanumab. The most important knowledge that Biogen has gained from the phase 1b trial and the long-term study is that aducanumab was shown to reduce amyloid plaques in patients with early stage Alzheimer's disease . [3]

Top 5 Lifetime News Headlines

  1. http://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/biogen-s-controversial-tecfidera-ad-about-to-meet-its-end
  2. Insert footnote text here
  3. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4141075-biogen-may-legitimate-hope-bringing-alzheimers-drug-market
2. http://media.biogen.com/press-release/corporate/biogen-appoints-jeff-capello-executive-vice-president-and-chief-financial-of

3. Biogen Foundation Commits $10 Million to STEM Education in Cambridge and Somerville, http://media.biogen.com/press-release/corporate/biogen-foundation-commits-10-million-stem-education-cambridge-and-somerville, 2018-01-04 EST.

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