- Last week, Biogen had numerous challenges, including setbacks in its multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer's disease (AD), ischemic stroke, and sciatica programs and dour earnings figures that led the company to cut its annual forecast. That sent the biotech's stock plummeting and led to Biogen losing a staggering $18 billion in market value last week (though shares are now up about 5% in Monday morning trading).
- Not only did Tecfidera fail to achieve endpoints in an MS study that Biogen was conducting, but the results for the much-hyped AD drug, aducanumab, were not as good as investors and industry watchers hoped they might be. While the 6 mg/kg dose showed the ability to clear amyloid fairly well, the rate of cognitive decline was not slowed down as dramatically as hoped for and expected given much more impressive early stage results released earlier this year.
- Biogen also scrapped its phase II sciatica program for Neublastin.
At face value, it might seem as if Biogen is in the dumps, with less-than-stellar earnings and some big R&D disappointments—but, according to the company, that's not the case.
In fact, even as Biogen's shares were plunging last week, CEO George Scangos was reaffirming the firm's commitment to its pipeline, as well as a plan to continue to acquire new compounds while continuing to invest in viable programs—most notably the Alzheimer's program.
"We certainly are, I would say, increasingly aggressive about wanting to add additional compounds to our portfolio and our pipeline," said Scangos during a conference call, as quoted by FierceBiotech. "I think you can count on that... I don't think we're in a panic situation."
What to expect next from Biogen during some heady times? Targeted acquisitions and an aggressive effort to cut down on wasteful spending.