Biogen fourth-quarter profit misses on Aduhelm exit costs

By Thomson Reuters Feb 13, 2024 | 6:04 AM

(Reuters) – Biogen missed Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday following its decision last month to return the rights for Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm and on soft sales of multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera.

Last month, Biogen said it will end a post-approval study of Aduhelm and return the licensing rights to Neurimmune, from which it had licensed the drug in 2007, after failing to find a partner to mitigate costs of obtaining standard regulatory approval.

Since CEO Christopher Viehbacher took the helm at Biogen in late 2022, the drugmaker has cut jobs, launched a review of its biosimilars business and made a $6.5-billion deal for rare disease drugmaker Reata to return the company to growth.

Investors have been looking to Alzheimer’s disease drug Leqembi, Reata’s drug Skyclarys, as well as Biogen’s depression drug to drive growth in the second half of this decade as older treatments face increased competition and patent losses.

The company recorded a 35-cent hit to its fourth-quarter profit from Aduhelm exit costs.

Biogen forecast a 2024 profit between $15 and $16 per share, on an adjusted basis, compared to LSEG estimates of $15.65 per share.

It expects sales of pharmaceutical products and Leqembi to be flat versus 2023.

In the fourth quarter, sales of Biogen’s once-blockbuster drug Tecfidera, which is facing competition from a cheaper generic rival, fell 17.8% to $244.3 million, below estimates of $252.3 million.

The company reported an adjusted profit of $2.95 per share, compared to analysts’ estimates of $3.18 per share.

Revenue fell 6.2% to $2.39 billion, missing estimates of $2.47 billion.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)