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Biogen raises full year guidance after beating Q2 expectations

Key drug franchises boost total revenues in the quarter

Biogen

Biogen has lifted its full year guidance after posting better-than-expected sales in the second quarter, after reporting a boost in key drug franchises including Tecfidera and Spinraza.

Total revenues for the second quarter climbed 1.8% to $3.68bn, with sales boosted by Biogen’s multiple sclerosis therapy Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) which generated sales of $1.18bn – beating Wall Street estimates of $1.1bn according to Reuters.

The increasing sales of Tecfidera dampen some concerns that the drug was already facing uncertainty after Biogen lost a key patent back in June, setting it up for generic competition.

Investors had also been worried that the company’s other key brand – spinal muscular atrophy med Spinraza (nusinersen) – could be affected by increasing competition in the market, although the drug ended up bringing in sales of $495m, beating the general consensus of $494.5m.

Biogen also noted that its first quarter product revenues likely benefited by around $100m thanks to increased sales due to COVID-19, with most of those sales occurring in Europe.

The company now expects full year revenues to reach between $34 and $36 per share, a rise from its previous estimate of between $31.50 and $33.50. The raised forecast does not include any operational impact from potential generic versions of Tecfidera in the US, however.

Prior to the results presentation, investors were rocked by the unexpected news that Biogen’s chief financial officer Jeffrey Capello was departing from the company. Replacing him at the helm is Mike McDonnell, who joins Biogen from contract research organisation IQVIA where he also served as chief financial officer.

The company gave no reason for the departure, but with concerns surrounding growing competition to its Tecfidera and Spinraza franchises and the upcoming FDA decision for experimental Alzheimer’s disease therapy aducanumab, McDonnell will no doubt have his work cut out for him.

Biogen completed a marketing application for the high-risk Alzheimer’s therapy earlier this month, after reviving development of the treatment last year on some controversial trial results.

“In terms of next steps, we anticipate receiving a response from the FDA within 60 days from the submission date, notifying us if the submission has been accepted, and if accepted whether we have been granted priority review,” said Biogen CEO Michel Vounatsos in an earnings call yesterday.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

23rd July 2020

From: Sales

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