Biogen raised its annual profit forecast for the second straight quarter as costs more than halved, while investors awaited more data on its new Alzheimer’s disease drug next month.
Shares jumped two per cent as costs and expenses fell 54 per cent to $1.14 billion (€1.14 billion). The drugmaker predicted earnings per share of $16.50 and $17.15 compared with a prior forecast of $15.25 to $16.75.
However, the focus of investors and Wall Street analysts is squarely on Biogen and Eisai‘s new drug Lecanemab that slowed the progress of the disease by 27 per cent in a trial last month.
Data on the drug has been promising and Biogen and Eisai are expected to file for a US approval soon with a decision expected in January.
Investors have been pinning hopes on the drug as Biogen faces multiple setbacks, including competition for blockbuster drug Tecfidera, whose sales fell by a third to $339 million.
The heightened expectations also come as Biogen significantly cut back the launch of its earlier Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, which was controversially approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against the advise of its experts.
Revenue for the third quarter fell 9.7 per cent to $2.51 billion, hurt by competition from cheaper options for its blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera. Still, it exceeded estimates of $2.47 billion.
Excluding items, Biogen earned $4.77 per share, beating estimates of $4.14.
The drugmaker did not provide any update on its search since May for a new chief executive, while Michel Vounatsos stays at the helm until a replacement is found.
Wedbush analyst Laura Chico said despite the profit beat and the raised forecast, “key updates remain lacking at this stage for the company.”