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About Biogen Inc.

With its pipeline full of biotech drugs, Biogen aims to meet the unmet needs of patients around the world. The biotech giant is focused on developing treatments in the areas of multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology. Its product roster includes best-selling drugs Tecfidera and Avonex for the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS); Tysabri, a drug treatment for MS and Crohn's disease; and Fampyra, which improves walking in adults with MS. Other products include Plegridy for RMS. Biogen, which serves customers around the world, gets majority of its revenue from the US.

Operations

Biogen's top-selling drug, Tecfidera, is sold in markets around the globe and accounts for more than 30% of annual revenue. It's an oral therapy marketed in the US for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS and for patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).

The firm's next-best seller, Interferon, which accounts for approximately 15% of revenue includes Avonex and Pledgridy. A treatment to improve walking in adults with MS, the Avonex pen is a single-use auto-injector version of the drug for once-weekly dosing. Plegridy is given by injection to treat relapsing forms of MS and effective in people under 18 and over 65 years of age.

Another top-selling global drug is Spinraza, also bringing in about 15% of revenue. It is given as an injection for the treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

Anti-CD20 therapeutic program sales, conducted through a partnership with Genentech, account for over 15% of sales. In addition to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, Rituxan, included in anti-CD20 is approved to treat leukemia, follicular lymphoma, and vasculitis.

Another drug, MS treatment Fampyra (also known as Ampyra), is sold in partnership with Acorda Therapeutics. Biogen is also co-marketing Zinbryta, another MS treatment, in the US with AbbVie.

In addition to gaining revenue from the development and sales of its products (both directly and through partnerships), Biogen receives royalties on some patents it has licensed to other companies.

Geographic Reach

Biogen, headquartered in Massachusetts, has offices in the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, and several European countries. The US is Biogen's largest market, bringing in more than 45% of revenue. The remaining revenues are generated from the rest of the world.

Sales and Marketing

Biogen primarily distributes its products in the US through wholesale pharmaceutical distributors, mail-order specialty distributors, and shipping service providers. Two wholesale distributors, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson, each bring in more than 10% of the firm's total revenue. Outside of the US, distribution varies but includes wholesale pharmaceutical distributors and third-party distribution partners.

Biogen's direct sales force focuses on specialist physicians in private and at major medical centers. The company also handles global marketing efforts for Tysabri. Roche Group and its sublicenses handles sales and marketing duties for Rituxan, while marketing duties for Fampyra are split with Acorda. (Biogen sells the drug in Europe.)

Financial Performance

Biogen's revenue and profits have steadily risen over the years as it has introduced new products. It has an overall growth of 35% between 2015 and 2019.

Total revenues were $14.4 billion for 2019, representing an increase of 7% over $13.5 billion in 2018.

Net income attributable to Biogen Inc. was favorably impacted by a decrease in The Company's effective tax rate to 16% for the year ended December 31, 2019, from 24% for 2018, due in part to an internal reorganization of certain intellectual property rights, the impact of Swiss Tax Reform and the 2018 unfavorable impacts of U.S. Tax Reform.

Biogen held about $2.9 billion in cash and equivalents in 2019 compared to $1.2 billion the year before. In 2019, operations generated $7.1 billion. Investing activities provided $470.5 million while financing activities used $5.9 billion.

Strategy

 

Biogen is the industry leader in multiple sclerosis treatments, and it has a strong biosimilars business in Europe, where it sells Benepali, a biosimilar version of Enbrel, and Flixabi, a biosimilar of Remicade. In 2019, Biogen released Vumerity, an oral therapy for relapsing MS. The treatment was developed in collaboration with Alkermes.

Biogen's researchers leverage their expertise in MS to work in remyelination and repair, and neuroprotection, with potential applications in Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's disease, ALS, stroke, and pain. The company spent $20 million, $18 million and $12 million for research and development in 2019, 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Additionally, Biogen invested $1 billion in a 10-year exclusive agreement with Ionis in 2018, gaining access to Ionis' antisense platform across a broad range of neurological diseases to develop antisense oligonucleotide (ASOs) candidates. A previous collaboration with Ionis resulted in Spinraza, the first treatment for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The drug posted more than $2 billion in sales in 2019, with strong growth in the US and internationally.

The company has had its share of setbacks. In early 2019, it halted studies of its lead Alzheimer's treatment, aducanumab, when independent experts assessed that it wouldn't make the grade. However, the company with its partner Eisai pursue regulatory approval to continue the studies of aducanumab in the US in late 2019.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Biogen has expanded its operations through purchases of drug development firms as well as by purchasing commercialized and development-stage drugs. 

In early 2020, Biogen entered into an agreement to acquire Pfizer Inc. for $75 million. Pfizer is a New York-based company that develops potential treatment of patients with behavioral and neurological symptoms across various psychiatric and neurological diseases. The company plans to further develop the treatment that is highly complementary to its existing pipeline of potential disease-modifying therapies such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

In early 2019 the company struck a deal to buy London-based gene therapy startup Nightstar Therapeutics for $800 million. Nightstar is focused on treatments for inherited retinal disorders. Biogen is increasingly investing in the ophthalmology field.

Company Background

One of the world's first global biotechnology companies, Biogen was founded in 1978 by Charles Weissmann, Heinz Schaller, Kenneth Murray, and Nobel Prize winners Walter Gilbert and Phillip Sharp. It has the leading portfolio of medicines to treat multiple sclerosis, introduced the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, and commercializes biosimilars of advanced biologics.

Biogen Inc.

225 Binney St
Cambridge, MA 02142-1031
Phone: 1 (781) 464-2000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: BIIB
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
EVP and CFO: Jeffrey D. Capello
Chairman: Stelios Papadopoulos
CEO and Director: Michel Vounatsos
Employees (This Location): 348
Employees (All Locations): 7,400

Major Office Locations

Cambridge, MA

Other Locations

Oceanside, CA
Washington, DC
Cambridge, MA
Durham, NC
Getzville, NY
Brussel, Belgium