Biogen

Biotechnology company that makes only a handful of advanced drugs to treat patients with neurological diseases.

Categories

Pharma and Life Sciences  

#445

Rank

$39.28B

MarketCap US

US United States

Country

Summary

Biogen Inc. is a leading biotechnology company that focuses on the discovery, development, and delivery of innovative therapies for patients worldwide. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Biogen has established a reputation as one of the most successful and influential companies in the field of biotechnology.

Biogen was founded in 1978 by a group of scientists including Charles Weissmann, Walter Gilbert, and Phillip Sharp. Initially, the company focused on the development of innovative treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS), a debilitating autoimmune disorder that affects the central nervous system. Biogen's first drug, Avonex, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, and since then, the company has continued to develop and market a range of other therapies for MS.

Over the years, Biogen has expanded its portfolio to include treatments for other neurological and neurodegenerative disorders, including spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The company's research efforts are driven by a commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and understanding of these complex diseases, and to developing therapies that can help patients live longer, healthier lives.

Biogen's success can be attributed to its unwavering focus on innovation, research, and development. The company has invested heavily in cutting-edge technologies and research methods, and has collaborated with academic institutions, research organizations, and other industry partners to advance scientific knowledge and drive progress in the field of biotechnology.

In recent years, Biogen has continued to expand its global reach, with a presence in more than 90 countries worldwide. The company's commitment to improving patient outcomes and advancing the frontiers of biotechnology has earned it a reputation as one of the most respected and innovative companies in the industry. As the company continues to grow and evolve, it is poised to make even greater contributions to the field of biotechnology and to the lives of patients around the world.


History

1978: Founded by a small group of visionary scientists, Biogen helped pioneer the biotechnology industry. Biogen is considered one of the pioneers of the biotechnology industry. It got its start when Walter H. Gilbert, a Nobel prize-winning biologist who was teaching at Harvard at the time, decided to try developing his research into marketable products.

1984: Biogen had racked up a stunning $100 million in losses and was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

1985: As Idec began its journey that year, the company would have to find a way to satisfy both its scientific and business needs.  James L. Vincent is hired as CEO and launched a radical restructuring.

1986: Idec's chief executive officer, William Rastetter, joined the company roughly a decade after earning his doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University.

1989: Biogen had regained control of 90 percent of all of its original patents. Sales reached $28.5 million, and the company posted its first-ever profit--a $3.2 million surplus.

1991: In a bid to alleviate some of the financial pressure it was experiencing, the company completed an initial public offering of stock, debuting on the NASDAQ. The proceeds from the stock offering provided some help, enabling the company to progress toward its first major hurdle. Idec completes its initial public offering of stock. The company was selling through licensees several different drugs that were generating global sales of about $600 million annually: Intron A Alpha Interferon, Hepatitis B vaccine, Hepatitis B diagnostics, and Gamma Interferon (used to treat renal cell carcinoma).

1992: Biogen benefited from heady gains in sales of several of its drugs, particularly alpha interferon.

1993: Clinical studies begin on Rituxan and Zevalin.

1994: The company collected $7.4 million in revenue and posted a loss of $18 million. In the fall, Biogen announced that it was discontinuing its efforts to bring Hirulog to market because of disappointing test results.

1995: The two companies signed a collaboration agreement in March, that provided the funding for the further development of IDEC-C2B8, a drug that would become known as Rituxan. A successful launch was jeopardized, however, by a lawsuit filed by Schering AG, which had begun selling its beta interferon drug in the United States under the name Betaseron. FDA approves Avonex for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

1996: In May, in a key event in the company's history, Biogen announced that the FDA had unanimously approved Biogen's Avonex interferon beta-1a drug for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.

1997: FDA Approval of Rituxan. Tobin was promoted to president and CEO, with Vincent remaining chairman. European marketing of Avonex begins.

1998: Further, the embrace of Rituxan by the medical community enabled the company to record its first annual profit, beginning what became a string of profitable years for Idec.

1999: The company was investigating other potential uses of its blockbuster Avonex drug, the sales of which reached $621 million in part because of geographic market expansion. The company suffered a setback in late that year when it halted trials of Antova, an immune system regulator after some patients participating in the trials developed blood clots.

2000: In June, Mullen was promoted to president and CEO, with Vincent continuing as chairman. In early that year Biogen announced that Avonex had proven effective in delaying the development of multiple sclerosis in people showing early signs of the disease.

2001: Zevalin, a therapeutic designed to treat B-cell non-Hodgkin's cancer as well, was a radioimmunotherapy product, one that, as Business Week noted in its October 29, issue, added "a second line of defence" to Rituxan.

2002: The FDA, which rarely ruled against the recommendation of its advisory committee, approved Zevalin in February, making it the first radioimmunotherapy to enter the market. In the fall, Rastetter met with Jim Mullen, the chief executive officer of another biotechnology firm, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen, Inc. The drug generated $1.47 billion in sales, but Idec, because of its agreement with Genentech, collected only $370 million of the total.

2003: Biogen Idec was founded on November 12, and is headquartered in Weston, MA.“ With Avonex's orphan drug status set to expire, Biogen needed to bring additional products to market.

2004: The company moves into a new, $400 million complex in Oceanside, California.

2006: In May, the company announced it would acquire cancer specialist, Conforma Therapeutics for $250 million.

2007: The company reached a licensing agreement with Neurimmune, a spin-off from the University of Zurich, for the Alzheimer's disease drug Aducanumab developed by this Swiss company.

2008: The FDA approves natalizumab, a monotherapy for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of MS. FDA later approves natalizumab for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease in patients who have failed or cannot tolerate available therapies.  Also that year, two new brain infection cases from Tysabri users surfaced in Europe that raised international concern about Tysabri and its effects on the progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) brain condition.

2011: Biogen announced that its drug Fampyra received conditional marketing approval.

2012: On December 10, Biogen announced its global collaboration agreement with Isis Pharmaceuticals to develop and research antisense drugs to treat neurological and neuromuscular diseases.

2013: In February, Bloomberg broke the news that Biogen was planning to pay Elan $3.25 billion for the full rights to Tysabri, used to treat multiple sclerosis.

2014: In December, Biogen announced that its Aducanumab drug for Alzheimer’s treatment is preparing to go through a late-stage trial of its experimental Alzheimer's disease treatment after the medication dramatically improved cognition and reduced brain plaque levels in an early-stage study.

2015: In July, Biogen initiates two late-stage studies called ENGAGE and EMERGE, which will assess Aducanumab in adults with early Alzheimer's disease. In October, the company announced that it would lay off 11% of its workforce, effective immediately.

2016: Biogen’s Aducanumab decreases amyloid-beta in the brains of people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease, according to a report published in Nature on August 31. Biogen developed the only treatment Spinraza (nursing) for Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

2017: Nusinersen, the first treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, is approved in the United States It is approved in the European Union. Biogen announced that its drug Fampyra converted from conditional marketing authorization to standard marketing approval. The company would trade on the NASDAQ exchange under the ticker symbol BIVV and would look to be spun off in early that year.

2018: Bioverativ was acquired by Sanofi.

2019: On March 21, Biogen announced that the Phase 3 clinical trials of Aducanumab were halted. Also that month, Biogen announced it would acquire Nightstar Therapeutics for $25.50 per share ($800 million in total). Nightstar focuses on adeno-associated virus based gene-therapies for inherited retinal disorders.

2020: On July 8, Biogen and Eisai announced that both companies had together successfully submitted for Aducanumab’s FDA regulatory and marketing approval. In September, Biogen Inc. made a $10 million deposit in OneUnited Bank to provide more capital to fund home loans and commercial development in Black communities.

2021: On June 7, the U.S. regulators approved Biogen’s aducanumab drug to treat Alzheimer, sold as Aduhelm.


Mission

Biogen's mission is to discover, develop, and deliver innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. The company is committed to advancing the frontiers of science and technology to improve patient outcomes and enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by these complex diseases.


Vision

Biogen's vision is to transform the lives of patients with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases through innovative therapies and groundbreaking research. The company's ultimate goal is to help people live longer, healthier, and more fulfilling lives, free from the burden of debilitating illnesses.


Key Team

James Mullen (Board Member)

Jeff Behrens (Founder)

Jesus B. Mantas (Board Member)

Heinz Schaller (Founder)

Kenneth Murray (Founder)

Lynn Schenk (Board Member)

Jeff Behrens (Founder)

Phillip Sharp (Founder)

Maria C. Freire Ph (Board Member)

Kenneth Murray (Founder)

Walter Gilbert (Founder)

Phillip Sharp (Founder)

Michel Vounatsos (Chief Executive Officer)

Walter Gilbert (Founder)

Alexander John Denner (Board Member)

Alexander John Denner (Board Member)

Brian S. Posner (Board Member)

Alfred W. Sandrock Jr (EVP, Research & Development)

Caroline D. Dorsa (Board Member)

Bernard Mach (Founder)

Eric K. Rowinsky (Board Member)

Charles Weissmann (Founder)

George Scangos (Board Member)

Heinz Schaller (Founder)


Recognition and Awards
Biogen has been recognized as a leader in the biopharmaceutical industry, receiving awards from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, and Forbes. In 2020, Biogen was ranked in the top 10 of Fortune’s 2020 Change the World List, which recognizes companies that make a positive social impact. The company was also named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the tenth consecutive year. Fortune 500, Fortune: Fastest Growing Companies

Products and Services

Biogen offers a range of innovative products and services for the treatment and management of serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. The company's portfolio includes therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Alzheimer's disease, and other neurological disorders.

One of Biogen's most well-known products is Avonex, a therapy for relapsing forms of MS. Avonex was one of the first disease-modifying therapies for MS, and has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of MS relapses, as well as slow the progression of disability in some patients. Biogen also offers other MS therapies, including Tysabri, Tecfidera, and Plegridy.

In addition to MS, Biogen has developed therapies for other neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. The company's therapy for SMA, Spinraza, is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for the disease, and has been shown to improve motor function and increase survival rates in infants and children with the disease. Biogen is also actively developing therapies for Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders.

Beyond its product portfolio, Biogen also offers a range of services to support patients and healthcare providers. The company has established a patient support program for individuals using its therapies, which includes access to nurse educators and financial assistance programs. Biogen also offers educational resources for healthcare providers, as well as clinical trial support services to facilitate the development of new therapies.

Overall, Biogen's products and services reflect the company's commitment to advancing the frontiers of biotechnology to improve patient outcomes and enhance the quality of life for individuals living with serious neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.


References
Biogen
Leadership team

Bernard Mach (Founder)

Charles Weissmann (Founder)

Industries

Pharma and Life Sciences

Products/ Services
Avonex, Fampyra, Plegridy, Tecfidera, Tysabri, Spinraza
Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Headquarters
Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Established
1978
Company Type
Public Limited Company
Company Registration
SEC CIK number: 0000875045
Net Income
1B - 20B
Revenue
Above - 1B
Traded as
BIIP
Social Media

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Fri Mar 01 2024
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