Not long ago, Biogen was in the deepest of waters. A disastrous rollout of a once-promising Alzheimer's drug and a meager pipeline added up to shareholder distrust at the highest level. But Biogen and its Japanese partner Eisai revealed late-stage data that brings something new to the table.
We all knew the next Alzheimer's treatment lecanemab was in the works, but analysts were skeptical after the failed rollout of Biogen's Aduhelm. How could the same company — partnered with Eisai again — achieve success in Alzheimer’s without the drama?
It turns out lecanemab is a tour de force. Driven by better clinical trial design and streamlined communication, lecanemab is the “The Godfather: Part II” — an overall superior product to its predecessor. The FDA has set a Jan. 6 deadline to evaluate the drug. Analysts predict a successful Alzheimer’s drug would be extremely profitable based on the number of patients who would benefit from it. Can Biogen and Eisai take this one to the finish line? Here's what executives from Biogen had to say on their third-quarter earnings call this week.
"There were a number of things on Aduhelm that didn't go the direction that we had anticipated. But I do feel confident that we'll be able to gauge it in a way that … the ramp in spend will have better proximity to revenue than what you saw on Aduhelm.”
Chief financial officer, Biogen
"We had no choice than to take the actions that we took — now there is a new page. … We are planning the investment, but we are not yet completely there.”
"We see ourselves as leaders in the Alzheimer's space. We believe that we've done a lot of evaluation of the scientific hypotheses. And we have set up our portfolio to be able to address … the biology."
Senior vice president, global safety and regulatory sciences, Biogen
"(Business development) is on the table because the portfolio can always be improved. We've made more than 30 deals in the past few years, but we continue to be very active."