Exclusive: Biogen shortens name, expands ambitions in Alzheimer’s, ALS
March 23, 2015 - als
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Biogen Idec Inc has seen a marketplace value quadruple in 3 years to some-more than $100 billion on a behind of a successful mixed sclerosis drugs. Now it has new ambitions in a sights.
The Massachusetts-based company, that done headlines final week when it announced better-than-expected clinical hearing formula for a initial Alzheimer’s drug, aducanumab, pronounced that it will dump Idec from a name as of Monday and adopt a new logo. The association joined with Idec Pharmaceuticals some-more than a decade ago.
Chief Executive George Scangos says that going brazen he will keep Biogen focused on building drugs for some of a hardest-to-treat diseases.
“Five years down a road, with some luck, we’ll have an Alzheimer’s drug that’s removing approved,” Scangos told Reuters. “I wish we can renovate a diagnosis of MS. By that time, we will have done estimable swell on ALS and other haughtiness degenerative diseases, spinal robust atrophy in kids. All that things is on a plate,” he said.
“I am certain of dual things,” he added. “Not all of it is going to work, and some of it will.”
Investors, vehement by a aducanumab news, sent Biogen shares adult 9.7 percent on Friday, and a company’s batch overwhelmed an all-time high of $480.18 during a session.
The little hearing showed a diagnosis significantly slowed cognitive spoil in patients with amiable symptoms, a singular bit of good news in a margin dirty with high form failures from a likes of Pfizer Inc and Eli Lilly and Co
But some patients, generally those with a gene predisposing them to Alzheimer’s, grown localized mind swelling. The sign was many common among patients with a gene who were receiving a top doses of aducanumab, heading about 1/3 of a participants in that difficulty to pause a treatment. The association pronounced a flourishing was generally “asymptomatic or with mild, transitory symptoms.”
Biogen skeleton to start a incomparable hearing after this year. “If they can replicate a Alzheimer’s information in Phase III, they could feasible have a biggest drug on a planet,” JMP Securities researcher Michael King said. As many as 75 million people are approaching to rise a illness by 2030.
For Biogen, that is also operative on Alzheimer’s drugs that use other mechanisms of action, investigate on insanity drugs represents an enlargement of a company’s intensity reach.
“If a Alzheimer’s thing works, afterwards we’re not only an MS company. We are broadly focused on neuro-degenerative diseases,” Scangos said.
The association is also building a drug it hopes will residence not only symptoms yet a means of MS, potentially changing a approach a illness is treated.
“The destiny looks flattering sparkling for us,” pronounced Scangos, who became Biogen CEO in Jul 2010 following a duration of shake in that romantic financier Carl Icahn pushed for government changes and a sale of a company. Scangos, who formerly led a little biotech organisation Exelixis Inc, was endorsed for a CEO post by Icahn lieutenants on a Biogen board.
BIGGER MOVE INTO BIOSIMILARS
As it works on new medicines for unmet needs, Biogen is also formulation a bigger pierce into a fledgling margin of biosimilars, production cheaper versions of comparison biotech drugs as they remove obvious protection. Health regulators this month authorized a initial such drug for a U.S. market, a biosimilar chronicle of Amgen Inc’s white blood dungeon upholder Neupogen.
Biogen formerly disclosed skeleton to rise 6 biosimilar drugs in partnership with Samsung. “We will enhance that to embody more,” Scangos said.
It has filed for European capitulation of biosimilars of dual blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drugs, Amgen’s Enbrel and Johnson Johnson’s Remicade.
Scangos shrugged off a intensity impact to Biogen of biosimilars that replicate a possess products, even yet such foe could outcome in distant cheaper alternatives to a drugs.
“I perspective biosimilars as a good thing,” he said. “When they come for a drugs, they come.”
Biogen’s ambitions are not but risk. The association saw a “spectacular failure,” as Scangos put it, with a vast hearing of an ALS drug a few years ago, highlighting a plea ahead.
“There was no outcome during all,” Scangos said. “We’ve left behind to a sketch board.”
(Reporting by Bill Berkrot; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Sue Horton)