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Biogen lifts full-year profit forecast as Tecfidera boosts quarter

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.

Biogen said on Tuesday the raised forecast does not include any impact from the potential entry of generic versions of Tecfidera in the United States in 2020.

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.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $1.54 billion, or $9.59 per share, in the three months ended June 30 from $1.49 billion, or $7.85 per share, a year earlier. (bit.ly/3jE7NBM)

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.

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