Biogen Idec

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Biogen Idec, Inc.
Type Public
NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 2003
Headquarters Weston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people William D. Young (Chairman) George A. Scangos (CEO)
Products Rituxan
Revenue Increase US$ 5.048 billion (2011)[1]
Operating income Increase US$ 1.724 billion (2011)[1]
Net income Increase US$ 1.266 billion (2011)[1]
Total assets Increase US$ 9.049 billion (2011)[1]
Total equity Increase US$ 6.426 billion (2011)[1]
Employees 4,850 (2010)[1]

Biogen Idec, Inc. is an American biotechnology company specializing in drugs for neurological disorders, autoimmune disorders and cancer.[2] The company was formed in 2003 by the merger of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen Inc. and San Diego, California-based IDEC Pharmaceuticals (formed in 1986 by biotech pioneers Ivor Royston and Howard Birndorf).[3] Biogen, one of the oldest biotechnology companies, was founded in 1978 in Geneva[4] by several biologists, including Kenneth Murray of the University of Edinburgh, Phillip Sharp of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Walter Gilbert of Harvard (who served as CEO during the start-up phase) and Charles Weissmann, University of Zurich (who contributed the first product interferon-alpha).

Biogen Idec stock is a component of several stock indices such as the S&P 500, S&P 1500, and NASDAQ-100.


Biogen Idec's products include multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments Avonex (interferon beta-1a) and Tysabri (natalizumab); the latter is also approved for treatment of Crohn's disease, and is co-marketed with Élan. Biogen Idec also makes Rituxan (rituximab), a treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma which is also approved for rheumatoid arthritis; Rituxan is co-marketed with Genentech.[5] The company acquired Fumaderm (fumaric acid esters), a psoriasis treatment (licensed in Germany) when it acquired Fumapharm AG in 2006. In December, 2007, Biogen Idec sold the U.S. rights for Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan), another treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, to Cell Therapeutics, but continues to produce it for European marketing partner Bayer Schering Pharma. In 2006, the company sold rights for Amevive (alefacept), another psoriasis treatment, to Astellas Pharma, continuing to manufacture the drug under contract.[6]

The company's drug BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) was tested for effectiveness in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. When given twice daily, BG-12 cut the relapse rate by 44 percent at two years compared with a placebo. When given three times a day, it cut the relapse rate by 51 percent.[7] In a press release dated March 27, 2013 the FDA announced that it had approved BG-12 to be marketed under the brand name Tecfidera.[8] According to the FDA Approved Labeling Text “The efficacy and safety of TECFIDERA were demonstrated in two studies... that evaluated TECFIDERA taken either twice or three times a day in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). TECFIDERA had a statistically significant effect on the relapse and MRI endpoints” monitored in both tests. [9]

Locations of operation[edit]

Biogen Idec is headquartered in Weston, Massachusetts, and operates research and development facilities in Cambridge, MA. Biogen Idec operates manufacturing facilities in Kendall Square and in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The company has also built a Large Scale Manufacturing plant in Hillerød, Denmark.

Biogen Idec maintains its international headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, and operates an International regulatory & clinical center of excellence in Maidenhead, UK. Biogen Idec has direct commercial affiliates in Germany, France, Spain/Portugal, UK/Ireland, the Benelux, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Austria, Canada, Japan, China, India and Australia. In Italy and in Switzerland, Biogen Idec markets its products through two joint venture companies set up with the privately held Italian company Dompe Biotec.


Biogen Idec's principal competitors include Teva, Sanofi Aventis, Serono, Novartis, and Bayer Schering Pharma.

As of 2004, Biogen Idec derives most of its income from sales of multiple sclerosis treatment Avonex and from partnership royalties on Rituxan from Genentech, which markets Rituxan in the US. Roche markets Rituxan outside the US as MabThera.


Biogen Idec is managed day-to-day by an executive group composed of nine officers. As customary for a publicly traded company, BIIB is also overseen by a board of directors that votes on important company decisions. The executive chairman and chief executive officer both hold positions on the board of directors. The directors are Bruce R. Ross (chairman), George A. Scangos Ph.D.(CEO), Lawrence C. Best, Marijn E. Dekkers, Alan B. Glassberg, Thomas F. Keller, Nancy L. Leaming, Robert W. Pangia, Cecil Pickett, Lynn Schenk, Phillip A. Sharp, and William D. Young.[10]

Investor Carl Icahn launched a proxy fight seeking to elect three of his own nominees to the Biogen Idec board at the company's June 19, 2008, annual meeting of shareholders. Icahn's nominees were Alexander J. Denner, Anne B. Young, and Richard C. Mulligan, all of whom had served on the board of ImClone Systems since Icahn took control of that company.[11] None of Icahn's nominees were elected.

Citing a market capitalization of US$67 billion and stock appreciation of 92%, Biogen Idec was reported as the number 3 ranked drug company of 2013 by Forbes Magazine. [12]

Natalizumab withdrawal[edit]

On February 28, 2005, Biogen Idec and marketing partner Elan Pharmaceuticals voluntarily suspended marketing of natalizumab, and also suspended dosing in all ongoing clinical trials. Natalizumab had been approved in the US in November 2004 for treatment of patients with relapsing remitting MS.

The two companies announced the suspension after two participants involved in one study were diagnosed with a severe brain condition, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), after two years of combination therapy with Biogen's version of interferon beta-1a. One of those two patients died. Subsequently, another patient who had previously died in a separate clinical trial of natalizumab in patients with Crohns disease was re-evaluated as having had PML. In total, 3 cases of PML were identified, of which 2 cases were fatal.[13][14]

On 08/2008 the company announced 2 more cases of PML in Europe.[15]

Biogen Idec stock lost more than 40% of its value when the drug suspension news was released on February 28, 2005.

Biogen Idec Foundation[edit]

Instituted in 2008, the Biogen Idec Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of peoples' lives and contribute to the vitality of the communities in which Biogen Idec operates, with a special emphasis on innovative ways to promote science literacy and encourage young people to consider science careers.


On July 19, 2001, the company adopted the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 101 in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2000 effective as of January 1, 2000, which resulted in the restatement of the financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2000.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2010 Form 10-K, Biogen Idec, Inc.". United States Securities and Exchange Commission. 
  2. ^ "Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB.O) Company Profile |". Retrieved 13 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Why San Diego Has Biotech", Fikes, Bradley J. San Diego Metropolitan, April 1999. Accessed June 20, 2008.
  4. ^ "Biogen History",
  5. ^ Biogen Idec (2008). "Product Pipeline" in 2007 Annual Report
  6. ^ Biogen Idec (2008-02-14). "SEC Form 10-K". pp. 1, 11. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  7. ^ Clarke, Toni (2011-10-26). "UPDATE 6-Biogen's BG-12 seen topping MS drug league". Retrieved 26 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "FDA approves new multiple sclerosis treatment: Tecfidera". US Food and Drug Administration News and Events. FDA. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "NDA 204063 FDA Approved Labeling Text". NDA 204063 FDA Approved Labeling Text. US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Biogen Idec. "Board of Directors". Retrieved 2008-06-06. [dead link]
  11. ^ Icahn, Carl C. et al. (2008-05-16). "Definitive proxy statement on SEC Form DEFC14A". Retrieved 2008-06-07.  SEC accession number 0000928475-08-000185.
  12. ^ "Grading Pharma in 2013". Forbes. December 31, 2013. 
  13. ^ Kleinschmidt-DeMasters BK, Tyler KL (2005). "Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy complicating treatment with natalizumab and interferon beta-1a for multiple sclerosis". N. Engl. J. Med. 353 (4): 369–74. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa051782. PMID 15947079. 
  14. ^ Langer-Gould A, Atlas SW, Green AJ, Bollen AW, Pelletier D (2005). "Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy in a patient treated with natalizumab". N. Engl. J. Med. 353 (4): 375–81. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa051847. PMID 15947078. 
  15. ^ Goldstein, Jacob (2008-08-01). "Brain Infections Return for Multiple Sclerosis Drug Tysabri". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
  16. ^ "IDEC Pharmaceuticals Reports Second Quarter 2001 Results; Rituxan Sales Increase 86% Over 2Q 2000 and Earnings Increase to $0.15 Per Share;BIOWIRE2K". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′58.3″N 71°5′13.2″W / 42.366194°N 71.087000°W / 42.366194; -71.087000