Company: Biogen Idec
Class: Interferon Beta
2020 sales: $1.04 billion
Net present value: $2.9 billion
Biogen Idec ($BIIB) has become the dominant player in MS by skillfully executing on a whole series of key programs. Now decision day is looming for Plegridy, or peginterferon beta-1a, which belongs to the same class of drugs as Avonex and promises to reduce the number of treatments many patients require each year. Coming on top of its big Tecfidera approval, it may well help solidify Biogen's position in MS while adding more blockbuster revenue to the company's growing income stream. In the 1,500-patient "Advance" study, Biogen showed that peginterferon beta-1a reduced annualized relapse rates at one year by 35.6% in patients getting injections every two weeks and by 27.5% in those on four-week dosing compared with placebo. And coming up behind this drug is a key catalyst for another MS drug that may help spur remyelination, actually repairing some of the damage done by the disease. The EU has already given its green light. Last March the FDA extended the PDUFA date on Plegridy, but this looks like a solid odds-on winner among the regulatory crowd.
Biogen hits an FDA speed bump with its next-gen MS drug
Biogen Idec advances blockbuster MS franchise on two key fronts