Biogen’s innovation strategy
Biogen (BIIB) constantly strives to add novel products to its product portfolio in order to fulfill the unmet needs in the neurological, autoimmune, and rare disease therapy areas. This has been continuously achieved by the company through internal R&D (research and development), partnerships, and collaborations with other industry players targeting similar markets. The PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ) invests approximately 1.3% of its total holdings in Biogen.
Biogen’s recent product approvals and launches
Tysabri received a positive label update in Europe for use in “highly active Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (or RRMS) patients with inadequate response to prior MS therapy.” Tysabri is a high efficacy drug and approximately 30% of the patients switching MS therapies for efficacy are estimated to switch to Tysabri.
Flixabi received approval in Europe in May 2016. The drug is an infliximab biosimilar referencing REMICADE, Johnson & Johnson’s blockbuster drug. Flixabi was launched in the UK on September 7, 2016. Pfizer’s (PFE) Inflectra and Mundipharma’s Remsima are the other biosimilars that compete with Johnson & Johnson. Flixabi was developed by Samsung Bioepis, a joint venture of Samsung Biologics and Biogen. Flixabi is the second anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor) biosimilar to be launched in Europe. The first is Benepali, a biosimilar referencing Amgen’s (AMGN) Enbrel, launched in Europe in February 2016. The anti-TNF drugs are used for the treatment of inflammatory conditions.
Zinbryta, developed by Biogen in collaboration with Abbvie (ABBV), was approved in the US in May 2016 and in Europe in July 2016. It’s an MS drug for patients with a relapsing form of multiple sclerosis and is self-administered subcutaneously on a monthly basis. The drug is expected to be favored by a large number of patients switching for efficacy reasons. For more on Zinbryta, read Could Zinbryta Become a Novel Immunomodulatory Therapy for MS?
Alprolix, which is used for the treatment of Hemophilia B, was approved in Europe in May 2016. The drug will be commercialized by Biogen’s collaboration partner Sobi.
In the next part of the series, we’ll discuss the attractive product pipeline of Biogen at various stages of research.