Biogen plays up spinal muscular atrophy pipeline

As Biogen Inc. (Nasdaq: BIIB) continues to struggle to capitalize on the Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm (aducanumab), the company is highlighting new data from its Spinraza (nusinersen) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) research program.

First approved in 2016, Spinraza is a survival motor neuron-2 (SMN2)-directed antisense oligonucleotide indicated to treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

At the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinical & Scientific Conference held March 13-16, 2022), Biogen will describe the Phase 3b ASCEND trial design. The company recently announced that it had enrolled the first patient in ASCEND and continues to enroll participants in that study.

Biogen is also sharing data from the Phase 4 RESPOND trial, which is testing the safety and efficacy of Spinraza in infants and toddlers with unmet clinical needs after receiving Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec).

The company also will provide an update from the Phase 2 NURTURE …

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Biogen Q1 earnings beat estimates, raises EPS guidance 

Biogen (NASDAQ: BIIB) posted first-quarter results that beat analysts’ consensus forecast. The company raised its earnings guidance, but the outlook for the rest of the year largely hinges on FDA decisions regarding its pipeline drugs aducanumab and zuranolone.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech reported revenue of $2.69 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, which is a decrease of 24% compared with the same quarter in 2020.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were $5.34 on sales of $2.69 billion. Analysts at Canaccord Genuity were looking for EPS of $5.06 on sales of $2.68 billion. The consensus forecast was also for EPS of $5.06.

[Related: Biogen moves forward with aducanumab launch plans]

“Our first quarter 2021 results were consistent with our expectations across MS, SMA, and biosimilars despite increased competition,” said CEO Michel Vounatsos in a statement.

The company’s sales of Tecfidera, Spinraza and bios…

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