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Biogen buoyed by rising drug sales


Biogen Idec reported that its fourth-quarter profit jumped 84% after it recorded strong sales for its two leading drugs, Rituxan and Avonex.

The group’s net income was $201.2m compared with a profit of $108.6m in the same period a year earlier, and revenue rose 26% to $893.3m from $708.3m.

Excluding various one-time items including merger-related costs and stock option expenses in both quarters, Biogen Idec’s profit rose 45% to $266m, up from $184m in the same quarter a year ago.

The firm’s revenue gain was led by a 17% increase in its share of sales of Rituxan, a treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, which the company co-promotes in the US with Genentech Inc. Biogen Idec’s share of quarterly Rituxan revenue was $254m.

Meanwhile, the group’s top-selling drug, multiple sclerosis treatment Avonex, recorded sales of $503m, up 15% from the fourth quarter of 2006.

Tysabri, a newer MS drug which the firm shares rights with Ireland’s Elan Corporation, generated fourth-quarter revenue of $90m for Biogen, up from $18m in the same period in 2006.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Biogen Idec

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