Biogen profit surges 57 percent on strong sales of MS drug Tecfidera

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Weston, MA, United States (4E) – Biotechnology firm Biogen Idec Inc. reported Wednesday that its profit in the fourth quarter climbed 57 percent as sales of its multiple-sclerosis drug Tecfidera helped boost the company’s revenue.

The company forecasts adjusted earnings for 2014 at a range of $11.00 to $11.20 per share and revenue growth rate of between 22 percent and 25 percent. Analysts predicted per-earnings share of $11.63 and revenue growth of 21 percent.

Biogen recently introduced Tecfidera, a treatment for multiple sclerosis that analysts expect to gain huge share of a market currently dominated by injectable drugs. The drug has had strong adoption from patients, despite getting approval after two other oral drugs were launched by rival firms.

Biogen seeks to be a major maker of treatments for MS, which typically have high prices and patients take for several years.

Profit was $457.3mn, or $1.92 per share, higher than $292.1mn, or $1.23 per share, from the previous year. Without amortization and other items, per-share earnings increased to $2.34 from $1.40. Meanwhile, revenue surged 39 percent to $1.97bn.

Sales of the Tecfidera totaled $397.6mn. Sales of Avonex, the blockbuster multiple-sclerosis drug, fell 0.2 percent to $751.5mn, and sales for MS treatment Tysabri jumped 45 percent to $426.6mn.

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