Biogen Continues Its Dominance in the Multiple Sclerosis Segment


Jan. 30 2017, Updated 5:06 p.m. ET

Multiple sclerosis segment

Accounting for 38% of the global market share, Biogen (BIIB) is a leading player in the multiple sclerosis (or MS) segment. Despite intense competition from peers such as Novartis (NVS), Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), and Sanofi (SNY), Biogen captured ~42% of the MS market share in several major markets. In 2016, Biogen retained its dominant position in orals, interferons, and high-efficacy segments of the global MS market.

If Biogen (BIIB) can retain its leadership position in the MS segment in 2017, it may have a positive impact on BIIB stock as well as the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB). Biogen accounts for ~7.4% of IBB’s total portfolio holdings.

In 2016, Biogen’s MS portfolio witnessed year-over-year (or YoY) revenue growth of ~3%. If measured on a constant-currency basis, the portfolio reported YoY revenue growth of ~5%.

In 2016, the number of patients using Biogen’s MS therapies also increased 4% YoY, reaching 335,000. The robust rise in total patients is attributed to an ~9% YoY growth in the number of patients using Tecfidera in 2016.

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Tecfidera’s growth trends

In 2016, Tecfidera witnessed a YoY drop in total patients from the US market, mostly due to increasing competition in the oral MS segment. However, this negative impact was offset by the solid uptake of the drug in international markets.

In 2016, the number of patients using Tecfidera from markets outside the US rose ~20% on a YoY basis. Biogen is focused on strengthening Tecfidera’s position in early launch markets such as Germany and France, as well as in newly launched markets.

On December 19, 2016, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (or MHLW) approved Tecfidera in the Japanese market. This approval is expected to drive Biogen’s MS performance in 2017. To learn more about the demand trends for Tecfidera, please read Tecfidera Continued to Lead in the Oral Multiple Sclerosis Market.

In the next article, we’ll discuss the performance of Biogen’s MS drug, Tysabri, in greater detail.


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