reports its financial results for the fourth quarter on Wednesday, investors will be watching for developments on the biotechnology firm’s two key programs: Its Alzheimer’s treatment Leqembi, and its depression drug zuranaolone.
The expected rollouts of both drugs this year are vital to the company’s future because its remaining offerings face intense competitive pressure.
stock (ticker: BIIB) is up by 33% over the past 12 months, but down 30% since June 2021.
The Japanese drugmaker Eisai (ticker: ESALY), with which Biogen has partnered on Leqembi, said early this month that infusions in patients began on Feb. 3. Full commercialization, however, is unlikely unless the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decides that Medicare will cover the drug. A decision on that is unlikely before the second half of this year, at the earliest.
Zuranolone, on which Biogen is partnered with Sage Therapeutics (SAGE), could launch in the third quarter of this year, if the Food and Drug Administration approves it as a treatment for major depressive disorder and postpartum depression.
Aside from those two programs, Biogen’s assets are facing fierce competition. At an investor conference in January, the company’s new CEO, Christopher Viehbacher, called Biogen’s multiple sclerosis franchise, which had been the company’s bedrock for years, a “melting iceberg.”
Viehbacher, at the conference, said that his job is to “restore the company to sustainable growth,” both through the company’s internal drug-development pipeline and the launches of Leqembi and zuranolone.
“It is a huge opportunity,” Viehbacher said at the time.
The Wednesday earnings announcement marks Viehbacher’s first as CEO. He took over from Michel Vounastos on Nov. 14.
Analysts expect Biogen to report fourth-quarter earnings of $3.48 a share from sales of $2.4 billion, according to
For 2023, Wall Street expects full-year earrings of $15.80 a share, with sales of $9.4 billion, according to FactSet. The company will host an investor call at 8 a.m. Eastern time to discuss its performance.
Write to Josh Nathan-Kazis at firstname.lastname@example.org