Biogen Inc (BIIB.O) raised its 2020 earnings forecast after better-than-expected sales of its multiple sclerosis treatment Tecfidera helped the drugmaker beat second-quarter profit estimates.
The company’s shares rose 2.8 per cent before the opening bell as the results allayed investor apprehensions over rising competition to Tecfidera.
Tecfidera, Biogen’s best-selling treatment, generated sales of $1.18 billion in the quarter, ahead of Wall Street estimates of $1.11 billion.
The drug faces increasing competition from newer treatments, including Roche Holding AG’s (ROG.S) Ocrevus, and Biogen in June lost a patent dispute with Mylan NV (MYL.O) over Tecfidera. Analysts have said the ruling opens the threat of cheaper rivals in the United States.
The company, which named a new chief financial officer on Tuesday, now expects 2020 full-year adjusted profit to be between $34 and $36 per share, up from its prior forecast of between $31.50 and $33.50.
The results come as investors await U.S. regulatory action on Biogen’s application seeking approval of its closely watched Alzheimer’s drug, as well as the company’s COVID-19 treatment program with Vir Biotechnology (VIR.O).
However, overall sales of Biogen’s multiple sclerosis treatments fell 2% in the quarter. Analysts had said sales of the treatments could be hurt by physician offices staying shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Excluding items, Biogen earned $10.26 per share, above Refinitiv IBES estimates of $8.03.
Total revenue rose 1.8% to $3.68 billion, beating expectations of $3.43 billion.