Biogen Stock Fell Because It Thinks a New Alzheimer’s Drug Will Hurt Its 2023 Outlook

Biogen Stock

Biogen Stock (NASDAQ:BIIB)

On Wednesday, Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB) reported stronger-than-anticipated quarterly earnings and in-line guidance while highlighting the upcoming introduction of its newly authorized Alzheimer’s medicine Leqembi (lecanemab) might damage its 2023 forecast. As a result, Biogen stock declined in the market. 

Biogen stock, once known for its Alzheimer’s franchise led by Aduhelm, expanded that franchise in January with the addition of lecanemab, an anti-amyloid antibody developed in collaboration with Biogen’s Japanese partner Eisai (OTCPK:ESALF) (OTCPK:ESALY).

However, Aduhelm’s quarterly sales of $0.3M fell short of Wall Street’s expectations due to coverage limits from Medicare and doubts about the drug’s performance.

The business predicts a mid-single-digit revenue reduction for 2023, compared to analysts’ 7% YoY loss due to the projected offset of revenue by commercialization expenditures.

Earnings per share estimates for Biogen of $15.00 – $16.00 are in line with the $15.76 expected by market analysts.

In his first conference call as CEO of Biogen, Christopher Viehbacher spoke about the difficulties of introducing lecanemab to the American market.

To give PET scans or CSF testing, “there is going to be an awful lot of education of clinicians around safety, around the diagnosis, and the infrastructure needs to increase,” he added.

Viehbacher said that the company’s future success hinges on the antidepressant drug Zuranolone.

The FDA approved the New Drug Application (NDA) for the oral depression medication submitted by Biogen and partner Sage Therapeutics (SAGE) in February, with an action date of August 05.

With its multiple sclerosis brand contributing $1.3B and $5.4B in sales, the business reported $2.5B and $10.1B, respectively, suggesting a 7% and 11% YoY reduction, respectively.

Spinraza, a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, had Q4 sales of $458.8M, an increase of 4% year over year, which was better than expected. However, annual sales of $1.8B were down 6% year over year.

Meanwhile, $286M costs linked to write-offs of inventories and purchase agreements over demand impacted the cost of sale as a direct result of lower-than-anticipated sales of Aduhelm.

Yet, because of a gain of $195.4M due to fair value remeasurement, the company’s bottom line increased by 50% year over year to $550.4M.

Featured Image: Megapixl @ Doityourself13

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