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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 immunology and neurology. Its product roster includes best-selling drugs Tecfidera and Avonex (interferon) 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 MS. Founded in 1978, Biogen serves customers in more than 90 countries.


Biogen's top selling drug Tecfidera is sold in markets around the globe and accounts for around 35% of annual revenues. It is an oral therapy marketed in the US for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS. It is sold in Europe for patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).

The firm's next-best seller, Avonex (interferon), accounts for some 25% of revenues. 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.

Another top-selling global drug is Tysabri, bringing in more than 15% of revenues. Despite the drug's troubled regulatory history -- the drug can only be prescribed under a strict risk management plan due to the possible side effect of a rare brain condition -- the company continues to pursue additional uses for the drug.

Rituxan sales conducted through a partnership with Genentech account for another 10% of sales and are classified as "unconsolidated joint business" revenues. In addition to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, Rituxan 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. For instance, The Medicines Company pays royalties on sales of anticoagulant Angiomax.

Products in Biogen's pipeline include the anti-LINGO program for MS, BAN2401 (in collaboration with Eisai) for Alzheimer's disease, and STX-100 for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Geographic Reach

Biogen has offices in the US, Australia, Canada, Japan, the US, and several European countries. It has direct sales operations in about 30 countries and operates through distribution partners in another 60 countries.

The US is Biogen's largest market, bringing in more than 60% of total revenues. Europe follows, with Germany alone representing more than 5% of revenues.

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 revenues. Outside of the US, distribution varies but includes wholesale pharmaceutical distributors and third-party distribution partners.

Avonex is marketed through Biogen's direct sales force to specialist physicians and hospitals in North America, Europe, and select other countries around the globe. The company also handles global marketing efforts for Tysabri. Genentech handles sales and marketing duties for Rituxan, while marketing duties for Fampyra are split with Acorda (Biogen sells the drug in Europe and Canada).

In 2016, Biogen spent $106 million on advertising, versus $108.6 million in 2015 and $92.9 million in 2014.

Financial Performance

Biogen's revenues and profits have steadily risen over the years as sales of its products have increased. In 2016, net revenue rose 6% to $11.4 billion, largely due to higher sales of Tecfidera and Alprolix (which has since been spun off). Tecfidera sales rose 9% to $4 billion that year as sales in existing markets increased; the drug also continues to be launched in new markets, boosting sales even further. Alprolix sales rose 45% to $333.7 million that year.

In 2016 net income increased 4% to $3.7 billion due to the higher revenue and a relatively low increase in operating expenses. Cash flow from operations rose 22% to $4.5 billion that year, primarily due to higher earnings and positive changes in current liabilities.


Biogen is the industry leader in multiple sclerosis treatments, and in Europe it has a strong business in biosimilars (Benepali, a biosimilar version of Enbrel, and Flixabi, a biosimilar of Remicade). It launched four new therapies during 2016, and the approval of spinal muscular atrophy treatment Spinraza that year should provide the company with its next blockbuster.

Biogen's pipeline of drug candidates is focused on treatments for central nervous system ailments including Alzheimer's, MS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), neuropathic pain, and lupus. In addition to proprietary candidates, the company has collaborative development candidates with Genentech, Portola Pharmaceuticals (lupus and rheumatoid arthritis), and other drugmakers, and it continuously looks to expand its pipeline through acquisitions and partnerships. R&D expenses totaled $1.97 in 2016, down from $2.01 billion in 2015.

The company has had its share of setbacks, though. In 2019, it halted studies of its lead Alzheimer's treatment, which spooked investors. In 2016, the company's anti-LINGO MS drug failed in mid-stage trials; Biogen is exploring additional studies for the treatment.

In early 2017 Biogen spun off its growing hemophilia operations into a separate, publicly traded company named Bioverativ. That business' marketed products include Eloctate and Alprolix; the new firm continues its activities around the discovery and development of hemophilia therapies utilizing XTEN technology.

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 2019 the company struck a deal to buy London-based gene therapy startup Nightstar Therapeutics for $877 million. Nightstar is focused on treatments for inherited retinal disorders. Biogen is increasingly investing in the ophthalmology field.

Biogen Inc.

Cambridge, MA 02142-1031
Phone: 1 (617) 679-2000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: BIIB
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
EVP Human Resources: Kenneth A. DiPietro
Chairman: Stelios Papadopoulos
CEO and Director: Michel Vounatsos
Employees (This Location): 348
Employees (All Locations): 7,800

Major Office Locations

Cambridge, MA

Other Locations

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