Biogen banks on government coverage to restart stalled Alzheimer’s drug sales

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Oct 20 (Reuters) – Biogen Inc is pinning its hopes on a call on U.S. authorities protection of its Alzheimer’s illness drug subsequent 12 months to assist drive up its utilization, after an enormous miss on quarterly gross sales of the much-awaited remedy.

The corporate recorded $300,000 in gross sales of Aduhelm within the third quarter, in contrast with the $10.79 million imply estimate from 16 analysts, in line with Refinitiv information.

Solely 120 websites throughout the US are providing the drug, Biogen mentioned, versus its expectations of 900 instantly after the launch. The corporate expects minimal gross sales from the remedy this 12 months, whereas elevating its forecasts on demand for its a number of sclerosis medicine.

Biogen is betting on Aduhelm, the primary new remedy for the memory-robbing illness in almost 20 years, to buffer successful from its primary income drivers dealing with rising competitors.

Nevertheless, the uptake has been slower than anticipated as a number of industrial insurers look ahead to additional route from Medicare earlier than protecting the drug, which is priced at $56,000 a 12 months.

“We won’t really speculate on the result of the (evaluation). However as you understand, we do imagine it is going to be a significant milestone, and this may alleviate plenty of the confusion that we’re seeing with physicians,” Biogen U.S. President Alisha Alaimo informed analysts on a post-earnings name.

Nonetheless, Wall Road’s consensus expectations for 2022 gross sales of the drug are too excessive and will transfer decrease, mentioned Jefferies analyst Michael Yee. Aduhelm is anticipated to generate gross sales of $953 million subsequent 12 months, in line with Refinitiv estimates.

Alaimo additionally mentioned the value tag was not the principle purpose for hospitals refusing to make use of the drug thus far, including the corporate was providing monetary help applications.

In the meantime, Biogen raised its full-year adjusted earnings per share expectations to $18.85 to $19.35, from $17.50 to $19.00.

The corporate’s shares have been up 1.8% at $272.92 in early buying and selling.

Reporting by Oishee Majumdar and Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Modifying by Sriraj Kalluvila


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