299.00 -5.47 (-1.80%)
After hours: 4:24PM EDT
|Bid||304.61 x 800|
|Ask||304.92 x 1000|
|Day's Range||290.00 - 307.15|
|52 Week Range||215.78 - 374.99|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.88|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||9.69|
|Earnings Date||Apr. 21, 2020 - Apr. 26, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||335.17|
Biogen (BIIB) today announced that the first patient has been treated in the global clinical study, DEVOTE. The study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and potential for even greater efficacy of SPINRAZA (nusinersen) when administered at a higher dose than currently approved for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Some have more dollars than sense, they say, so even companies that have no revenue, no profit, and a record of...
Biogen Inc. (BIIB) today announced that the Biogen Foundation has committed $10 million to support global response efforts and communities around the world impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be used to address immediate critical needs, with the majority of donations going to support non-profit organizations in the U.S., including Massachusetts and North Carolina, in Italy and in other impacted countries worldwide. This adds to the donation made by Biogen China to the Red Cross Society of China.
(Bloomberg) -- At the Northeastern University Emergent Epidemics Lab, researchers have a convenient petri dish for studying the spread of pandemics: their hometown of Boston.The city is one of the major coronavirus clusters in the U.S., along with Westchester County, New York, and Seattle. In Boston, it all began with a Feb. 26 meeting at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf hotel, near the tourist mecca of Faneuil Hall and overlooking Boston Harbor.There, about 175 executives met from around the country, then unwittingly spread contamination across the city and, likely, around the world. Ironically, they were from Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen Inc., whose very mission is to develop drugs, rather than spread disease.The region is known for its top-flight universities and hospitals. Now, those institutions’ very experts, along with its public officials, are well-positioned to figure out how the disease is spreading from that conference through the Boston metropolitan area of 4.9 million people -- and beyond. The city now reminds modelers of how matters unfolded in hard-hit Italy, whose hospitals have been overwhelmed.“Massachusetts is smaller than Italy,” said Sam Scarpino, an assistant professor of network science who heads the epidemics lab at Northeastern. “It has about 100 cases. There were 159 cases in Italy two weeks ago. That’s where we’re headed. We’ve got to move now and decisively prepare hospitals, work remotely and ramp up testing.”Scarpino works in a small office on the second floor of a concrete off-campus building. A map of the 19th century whooping cough outbreak hangs on his wall. His six-person team focuses on New England, New York and New Jersey. He keeps in frequent communication with another Northeastern lab on the 10th floor of the building that’s modeling the virus across the country.Whether the situation here becomes as dire as Italy -- or infections remain more restrained -- will depend on research efforts such as these and Boston’s public-health initiatives to slow down the spread of the virus. Italy reported 12,462 cases on Tuesday and 827 deaths from Covid-19, as the disease caused by the virus is known. The virus has led to fatalities primarily of older people or those with other health problems.As in the rest of the country, researchers in Boston are hamstrung by the government’s slow roll-out of testing. The Biogen meeting, in particular, is a puzzling case because it resulted in so many infections. The lab is focusing on a number of hypotheses. Could it be something about the ventilation system that promoted the spread? What if several people arrived at the meeting already infected? Why this meeting, when so many others of the same size were happening across the U.S?It may take another week before Scarpino has enough testing data to make any public predictions about the scope of community spread in Massachusetts. But he’s leaning toward the idea that the actual number of infected state residents is likely many multiples of the 95 positive tests announced as of Wednesday. Based on the experience in Italy, China and South Korea, he said, the number of new cases is doubling every four to seven days.In the U.S., the five cases and one death reported Tuesday in South Dakota is a warning flag that community spread is wider than what authorities can capture.“A cluster of cases in small states that are much more isolated like South Dakota is compatible with a much higher case count that we’re not seeing because we’re not testing,” Scarpino said.The detective work starts with a fuller picture emerging about what happened at the Biogen conference. There, colleagues from around the world greeted each other with handshakes and hugs and picked from plates of pastries and a self-serve hot-food bar, according to a detailed reconstruction by the Boston Globe.Those in attendance “included one or more individuals from Italy,” a Biogen spokesman said. All those at the conference were invited to dinner near Faneuil Hall.On March 5, more than a week after the event, the company said a number of attendees reported different degrees of flu-like symptoms. At least three tested positive for the virus. Of those initial cases, two employees were based in Europe, a company spokesman confirmed. Biogen required those who attended to work from home for two weeks. The firm advised employees who did not feel well to stay home and contact their doctors.But it was too late. Some Biogen employees with the virus had already attended an investment conference hosted by New York-based investment firm Cowen & Co. on March 2 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. The conference, which hosted more than 325 public and private companies, did not alert attendees until Sunday that at least one Biogen employee who attended had tested positive for the virus. They had continued to meet and go about daily life for almost a week after potentially coming in contact with it.So far, 77 cases have been linked to the Biogen conference. It wasn’t long before its contagion left the city.Two attendees of the Biogen conference in Boston who have tested positive for coronavirus later attended a private party of about 47 people in Princeton, New Jersey, according to local officials. At least two people who attended the party are residents of a nearby town, South Brunswick, which closed schools on Wednesday, even though no South Brunswick residents have tested positive for the illness. Those who went to the party were asked to self-quarantine until assessments and any testing is complete.But the shock waves are felt most powerfully in Boston. Other biotech companies, including Boston-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., have told employees to work from home. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh canceled the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Conventions are being postponed or canceled. And on Thursday, Marriott said it would close the hotel that hosted the Biogen conference.Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday declared an indefinite state-wide emergency, which gives him the authority to cancel large events. Baker, a former chief executive officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which has more than 1.1 million members statewide, banned travel by many state employees and waived attendance requirements for schools.Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital activated a drive-up virus testing facility in its ambulance bay. Patients remain in their vehicles, rolling down their window for staff to collect a sample to be sent to the state’s lab for testing.Harvard University, the University of Massachusetts system, Boston University, Northeastern and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have canceled in-person classes and moved to online instruction. Many students are away on spring break and have been told not to return to the campuses.At Harvard’s Cambridge. Massachusetts campus, empty moving trucks were parked on the lawn outside a residence hall and stacks of flattened boxes piled up near an entryway. Ethan Kipke, a senior computer science major, was headed home to the Philadelphia area for spring break and wondered what the cancellation of in-person classes will mean for his graduation.“This is more abrupt than expected,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out what’s going to happen.”Coronavirus is spreading into Boston’s suburbs, such as Wellesley, which sent students home from two schools last week. Eleven town officials in nearby Norwood have been self-quarantined after coming into contact with a Covid-19 sufferer at a private event. The Norwood officials include the town’s schools superintendent and its general manager, who has since tested positive for the disease.The outbreak’s impact has, of course, reached the academic researchers at Northeastern. Members of both labs have been working from home. Scarpino, the lab chief, has been counseling hospitals that are in the dark about how many negative-pressure isolating tents they’ll need for the coming onrush of patients.“The big problem right now for our forecast for Boston is we haven’t run enough tests to know whether there are 100 cases, 1,000 cases or 10,000 cases,” he said.(Updates with Marriott hotel closing.)\--With assistance from Brian K. Sullivan, Stacie Sherman and Janet Wu.To contact the reporters on this story: Prashant Gopal in Boston at firstname.lastname@example.org;Bailey Lipschultz in New York at email@example.com;Michael McDonald in Boston at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flynn McRoberts at email@example.com, John HechingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- This month, as the coronavirus spread across the U.S., many scientists and medical professionals decided to do the opposite: They stayed home. The American Physical Society canceled its March meeting, the American Chemical Society axed its spring conference, and several major health care meetings were scrapped. As of last Friday, I’d yet to hear anything about one meeting I’d signed up for long ago, a bioethics conference scheduled for this week in Boston.So as I waited, I reached out to the bioethicists scheduled to attend and asked what they thought: Is it ethical to hold a conference during an epidemic? In Boston, there was particular concern because a cluster of cases had spread at a Biogen conference in the city at the end of February. The ethicists all agreed: Canceling big gatherings is the right thing to do. And by late afternoon, I’d gotten a notice that the meeting had been postponed to June of 2021.When it comes to Covid-19 — the illness caused by the novel coronavirus — most of us could do with less fear and more guilt. According to the World Health Organization, most people infected with the coronavirus will survive. But as any bioethicist can tell you, even if you aren’t at high risk of dying from the disease, you are at risk of spreading it and causing others to die. That may be true even if you feel perfectly healthy.To start with, the coronavirus is much deadlier for some people than others. Data from China suggests the danger is greater for people with lung and heart disease, diabetes, hepatitis B, and cancer. And the older you are, the higher your risk. In China, the fatality rate for people over 80 was at least 14.8% — more than six times that of the population at large. Other estimates are closer to 20%, suggesting that for every five seniors with Covid-19, one will die from it. Younger people, who are far more likely to survive, have a responsibility to keep the virus from reaching their elders.What’s more, a measure of contagiousness epidemiologists refer to as R0 — the average number of people to which each infected person spreads the virus — isn’t a constant of nature, determined solely by the properties of the virus. It also depends on human behavior. “If you had a population of hermits, R0 would be zero,” Yale University network scientist Nicholas Christakis told me. In China, he said, the state’s drastic interventions have caused R0 to fall to less than one, and the number of new infections has leveled off. We in the U.S. can also slow the spread of the virus, but we’ll need to rely more on voluntary efforts than mandatory ones. Efforts like, say, canceling big meetings.It’s also important to slow the disease’s spread so the health-care system doesn’t become overwhelmed. The number of people who will die depends on whether everyone who needs proper hospital care can get it. While things are looking better in China, the system in Italy is starting to come under strain. According to a March 10 story in Bloomberg News, some regions are devoting 80% of acute care beds to the exploding number of Covid-19 patients. One overworked doctor in Italy reportedly declared that “every ventilator [is] like gold.”Scientific results coming out this week suggest that individuals might help prevent the same situation from recurring elsewhere. Researchers in Germany have released preliminary evidence that people are spreading this virus before they have any symptoms. And researchers at Johns Hopkins University published data suggesting this silent incubation period lasts five days on average — and far longer for some people. About one in 50 people with Covid-19 won’t show symptoms for more than 11 days. That means washing your hands won’t just protect you — it can protect others from you, even if you feel fine.It’s worth noting, too, that transmission can vary widely from person to person. This was striking during the 2003 SARS epidemic, which was also caused by a novel coronavirus. As described in the book “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic” by David Quammen, one doctor exposed through an early hospital outbreak in China got sick but then felt better, and decided to go to Hong Kong for a wedding. He ended up infecting 17 people at his hotel — including one who brought the disease to North America. That person’s infection spread to several hundred people in Toronto, 36 of whom died. Little decisions can have big consequences.The tragedy in the U.S. is that most people want to do the right thing but don’t know how. The news is full of horror stories: someone with symptoms and possible exposure making multiple emergency-room visits just to get a test, and others quarantined but not given coherent instructions on how to interact with others in the household. A popular Facebook meme mixes good advice about hand hygiene with bad advice to hoard surgical masks. (Needless to say, do not hoard masks.)As medical ethicist Art Caplan wrote this week, the government has failed to offer clear-cut information to a worried public. People under quarantine, especially, lack instructions on such basics as whether they can take out the trash and walk their dogs. “What about roommates if you’ve still got to share a bedroom and a bathroom?” he writes. “Can your partner still go to the store for you, let in workmen, accept deliveries? Few seem to know what to do if they are advised or ordered to stay home.”Several of the bioethicists scheduled to speak at the Boston meeting convinced me that we should focus advice less on protecting ourselves than on protecting others. There was a general sense of relief that the Boston meeting was canceled. Fortunately, the bioethics community isn’t alone: In recent days Harvard and other universities moved classes online, and major events such as the South By Southwest festival have been canceled.So you have a big event coming up, here’s some friendly advice: If you’re an organizer, consider postponing it. And if you’re an attendee, consider staying home.To contact the author of this story: Faye Flam at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tracy Walsh at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Faye Flam is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. She has written for the Economist, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Psychology Today, Science and other publications. She has a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Investors betting on Biogen Inc.’s back-from-the-dead Alzheimer’s drug are approaching a key hurdle in a wild saga that has already spanned nearly a year.The next test for bulls and bears is how U.S. regulators respond to the company’s drug application in the coming months. Acceptance of the filing with a priority review designation would signal to Wall Street that the Food and Drug Administration urgently wants to approve a medicine for Alzheimer’s disease. On the other hand, a standard review could give investors pause and an agency refusal to review the application would stop momentum in its tracks and send shares spiraling.The stakes are high for Biogen. The company’s market value grew by almost $11 billion in October when it revived hopes for the drug, aducanumab. The stock had plummeted back in March after declaring a late-stage study as a failure. But upon further review, Biogen and partner Eisai Co. found signs some patients may have benefited from treatment and conversations with the FDA invigorated them to proceed with an application based on new analysis.“It all comes down to FDA’s willingness to approve a novel therapy with a debatable dataset in a disease that affects millions of patients,” said Guggenheim Securities analyst Yatin Suneja in a January phone interview. While the data are “very complex,” he sees a fair chance that aducanumab wins U.S. approval.Once the agency starts a review, it could be anywhere from six to ten months before it reaches a decision whether to allow the drug on the market. There are an estimated 5.8 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050, according to an annual report from the nonprofit Alzheimer’s Association. Aducanumab could be the first approved treatment to slow progression of the disease.Drug ResurrectionBiogen’s decision to submit the drug to regulators just months after halting studies that suggested the medicine didn’t work was met with shock on Wall Street. The about-face also came three weeks after the biotech’s head of research and development announced plans to leave the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company. Just days ago, Biogen’s head of early research and development, Anirvan Ghosh, also left the company.The bold move to pursue approval led some analysts to quickly upgrade Biogen’s shares, highlighting the potential for billions of dollars in sales. Others say more proof is needed.The treatment has been shown to reduce the levels of plaque in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, the primary hallmark of the disease. Whether that leads to any benefit has been a topic of heated debate among researchers.“I’d argue they failed to hit their internal criteria,” Baird analyst Brian Skorney said of Biogen’s studies. The FDA should “stop it in its tracks and require at least one additional study to confirm the benefit” of aducanumab before it’s approved.Biogen has said it does not expect to present additional data prior to the FDA’s decision, however, it is working on a study that will re-dose patients who were previously being studied. Biogen Chief Medical Officer Al Sandrock said on the company’s earnings call that the study is being done for “humanitarian reasons” given patients’ desire to stay on the drug.The company hasn’t been clear on what it would do in the event FDA rejects its application. However, Biogen, along with Eisai, talked up studies for a different Alzheimer’s medicine, BAN2401, on a quarterly call and pointed to their dedication to finding treatments for the disease.For investors, timing is critical. Biogen finished 2019 as one of the worst performers in the S&P 500 Health Care Index, and some analysts have said the company may need an aggressive dealmaking strategy if the bet on Alzheimer’s doesn’t pay off.Biogen has been on the frontier of drug development for diseases attacking the brain and central nervous system and most recently inked a pact with small-cap drug developer Sangamo Therapeutics Inc. that comes with up to $2.37 billion in development milestones. Biogen also inked a $75 million deal to buy a Pfizer Inc. drug candidate for Alzheimer’s in January.Political DecisionThe verdict may ultimately come down to politics. Investors and analysts say the FDA may be moved to approve aducanumab because of the potential benefit to President Donald Trump in an election year.“There is reason to believe that this could become a politically driven decision rather than a data driven decision by the FDA,” Guggenheim’s Suneja said.If Biogen is granted a priority review, a decision could come around the November election.Mizuho analyst Salim Syed said an approval would be a “slippery slope” given the data to date. However, the agency is “effectively a black box” with ample arguments to justify a decision either way, he wrote in a research note on Feb. 25.Biogen’s $55 billion in market value places it among the five largest U.S.-based biotechnology companies. BlackRock, PrimeCap Management and Vanguard Group are among the heavyweight investment advisers with big positions in the company. Hedge funds including AQR Capital Management, Arrowstreet Capital and DE Shaw & Co. also have millions riding on the drugmaker’s success.Options set to expire on April 3 show an anticipated share price move of about 10% in either direction. Currently there is a slight premium to implied volatility, which stands at about 43%, versus a three-month historical average of about 40%.The FDA has a mixed record on new drugs for deadly and untreated diseases. When discussing aducanumab, people often point to the regulatory experience with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In 2016, the agency rejected a medicine from BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. while a competing therapy from Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. wound up being approved.FDA approval for aducanumab could reignite interest in companies that have struggled to show benefits with other medicines that target amyloid plaque in the brain. Those drugmakers include Eli Lilly & Co., AbbVie Inc. and Roche Holding AG.\--With assistance from Gregory Calderone.To contact the reporter on this story: Bailey Lipschultz in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at email@example.com, Cristin FlanaganFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The biotech sector was in focus with new drug approvals, acquisitions and regular pipeline updates from quite a few companies.
Broad collaboration for gene regulation therapies in neurology, initially focused on development of ST-501 for tauopathies including Alzheimer’s disease, ST-502 for.
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