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NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Biotechnology
Founded 1978 (from merger)
Founders Kenneth Murray
Phillip Allen Sharp
Walter Gilbert
Charles Weissmann
Headquarters Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
Key people
Stelios Papadopoulos, Chairman
George A. Scangos, CEO
Products Alprolix, Avonex, Eloctate, Fampyra, Gazyva*, Plegridy, Rituxan*, Tecfidera, Tysabri
Revenue Increase US$ 9.703 billion (2014) [1]
Increase US$ 3.972 billion (2014)[1]
Increase US$ 2.941 billion (2014)[1]
Total assets Increase US$ 14.31 billion (2014)[1]
Total equity Increase US$ 10.80 billion (2014)[1]
Number of employees
7,550 (December 2014)[1]

Biogen is an American global biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, specializing in the discovery, development, and delivery of therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative, hematologic, and autoimmune diseases to patients worldwide.


Biogen was founded in 1978 in Geneva[2] by several prominent biologists, including Kenneth Murray of the University of Edinburgh, Phillip Allen 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). Gilbert and Sharp were subsequently honored with Nobel Prizes: Gilbert was recognized in 1980 with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in understanding DNA sequencing, while Sharp received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for his discovery of split genes.

In 2003, Biogen merged with San Diego, California-based IDEC Pharmaceuticals (formed in 1986 by biotech pioneers Ivor Royston and Howard Birndorf) and adopted the name Biogen Idec. After the merge, Biogen Idec became the 3rd largest Biotechnology company in the world. [3] Following shifts in research core areas, the company has since shortened its name, reverting to simply Biogen.[4]

Biogen stock is a component of several stock indices such as the S&P 100, S&P 500, S&P 1500, and NASDAQ-100 and the company is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol, BIIB.[5]

In January 2015 the company announced it will acquire Convergence Pharmaceuticals for up to $675 million, with the acquisition aiming to accelerate the development of Convergence's pipeline, in-particular CNV1014802 – a Phase II small molecule sodium channel blocking candidate.[6]

Acquisition history[edit]

The following is an illustration of the company's major mergers and acquisitions and historical predecessors (this is not a comprehensive list):


Biogen IDEC

(Founded 1978)

IDEC Pharmaceuticals

Convergence Pharmaceuticals
(Acq 2015)


Biogen is managed by an executive group composed of ten officers:[7]

  • George A. Scangos, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and Member, Board of Directors
  • Susan H. Alexander, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
  • Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
  • Paul J. Clancy, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
  • John G. Cox, Executive Vice President of Pharmaceutical Operations & Technology
  • Kenneth DiPietro, Executive Vice President of Human Resources
  • Steven H. Holtzman, Executive Vice President of Corporate Development
  • Tony Kingsley, Executive Vice President of Global Commercial Operations
  • Adam Koppel, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Strategy Office and Senior Vice President of Commercial Assessment and Disease Strategy
  • Alfred W. Sandrock, Jr., M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer and Group Senior Vice President of Development Sciences
  • Douglas E. Williams, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Research and Development

As is customary for a publicly traded company, Biogen is also overseen by a board of directors. The Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer both hold positions on the board of directors. The directors are Stelios Papadopoulos (chairman), George A. Scangos Ph.D. (CEO), Alexander J. Denner, Ph.D., Caroline Dorsa, Nancy L. Leaming, Richard C. Mulligan, Robert W. Pangia, Brian S. Posner, Eric K. Rowinsky, M.D., The Honorable Lynn Schenk, and Stephen A. Sherwin, M.D.[8]


Therapy Indication (In United States unless otherwise noted) Year Approved (US) Year Approved (EU) Additional Information
ALPROLIX™ [Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant), Fc Fusion Protein] Control and prevention of bleeding episodes, perioperative management and routine prophylaxis in adults and children with hemophilia B 2014 1993 Also approved in Canada and Australia.

Biogen and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) are collaborators in the development and commercialization of ALPROLIX. [9]

AVONEX® (interferon beta-1a) Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis 1996 1997 Includes the AVONEX PEN auto-injector and the AVOSTARTGRIP titration kit approved in the U.S. in 2012.[10]
ELOCTATE™ [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), Fc Fusion Protein] Control and prevention of bleeding episodes, perioperative (surgical) management and routine prophylaxis in adults and children with hemophilia A 2014 1999 Biogen and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum (Sobi) are collaborators in the development and commercialization of ELOCTATE.[11]
FAMPYRA® (prolonged-release fampridine tablets) Multiple sclerosis (Walking ability) 2010 2011 Marketed by Biogen in markets outside of the United States.

Commercialized in the United States as AMPYRA (dalfampridine) Extended Release Tablets, by Acorda Therapeutics.[12]

FUMADERM™ (fumaric acid esters) Psoriasis German use 1994 (Germany only) Approved in Germany.

Acquired in acquisition of Fumapharm AG in 2006.[13]

GAZYVA® (obinutuzumab) Chronic lymphocytic leukemia 2013 2014 The first medicine approved with the FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation and is also currently in Phase 3 trials for NHL and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Currently commercialized in the United States by Genentech, a wholly owned subsidiary of Roche.[14]

PLEGRIDY™ (peginterferon beta-1a) Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis 2014[15] 2014[16]
RITUXAN® (rituximab) Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)

Anti-TNF Refractory Rheumatoid Arthritis

ANCA-Associated Vasculitis

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia




1998 (as MabThera) The first monoclonal antibody for cancer developed by IDEC, prior to merging with Biogen.

Currently commercialized by Roche and its subsidiary, Genentech.

TECFIDERA® (dimethyl fumarate) Relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis 2013[20] 2014[21]
TYSABRI® (natalizumab) Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis 2004 Re-introduced in 2006 2006 Full rights purchased from partner Elan in 2013.[22]


Biogen has focused its R&D efforts on the discovery and development of treatments for patients with high unmet medical needs in the areas of neurology, hematology and immunology.

Investigational MS medicines:

  • Daclizumab High-Yield Process (DAC HYP): is being developed as a potential once-monthly subcutaneous injection in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). DAC HYP is being developed in collaboration with Abbvie, Inc. In June 2014, the companies announced positive top-line results from the Phase III DECIDE clinical trial, where DAC HYP demonstrated superiority over interferon beta-1a in annualized relapse rate.[23]
  • Anti-LINGO-1 (BIIB033): is the first candidate being investigated for its potential to remylinate and repair neurons damaged by MS, currently in Phase 2 trials.[24]

Biogen has several candidates in Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials in neurodegenerative and immunological diseases including MS, Alzheimer’s disease, neuropathic pain, spinal muscular atrophy and lupus nephritis:

  • Phase 2a: anti-LINGO-1 molecule in acute optic neuritis
  • Phase 2b: anti-TWEAK monoclonal antibody in lupus nephritis
  • Phase 2a: STX-100 in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Phase 2: neublastin for neuropathic pain in 2013
  • Phase 2: ISIS-SMNRx for spinal muscular atrophy in infants and children in collaboration with Isis Pharmaceuticals
  • Phase 1b: BIIB037, Biogen’s first clinical study in Alzheimer’s disease

Biogen also has several development agreements in place with Isis Pharmaceuticals to collaborate to leverage antisense technology in advancing the treatment of neurological disorders.[25]

In February 2012, Biogen formalized a joint venture with Samsung, creating Samsung Bioepis. This joint venture brings Biogen’s expertise and capabilities in protein engineering, cell line development, and recombinant biologics manufacturing to position the joint venture so Biogen can participate in the emerging market for biosimilars.[26]

In early 2014, Biogen entered into an agreement with Eisai, Inc., to jointly develop and commercialize two of their candidates for Alzheimer’s disease, which have the potential to reduce Aβ plaques that form in the brains of patients, as well as to slow the formation of new plaques, potentially improving symptoms and suppressing disease progression.[27]

Corporate Citizenship[edit]

  • Achievement of carbon neutrality, a milestone reached through a multi-year initiative to reduce its own emissions and by investing in environmental projects to offset the remaining carbon associated with its business, including emissions from suppliers and employee commuting and business travel.
  • No. 1 on the Newsweek list of “Top Green Companies in the World 2015."
  • Named the biotechnology industry leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index World in 2014 and 2015.
  • Named the most sustainable company in the world on the Global 100 list.
  • More than $1 billion in financial assistance to patients in the form of free drug, drug copay assistance, infusion assistance, and charitable contributions.
  • A joint commitment with Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) to donate up to 1 billion international units (IUs) of clotting factor therapy over the next 10 years to humanitarian aid programs in the developing world to help individuals with hemophilia.
  • Investment of $7 million worldwide by the Biogen Foundation to expand the company’s global commitment to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
  • Creation of the “Underserved Populations Initiative” to help improve MS outcomes among racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States.
  • Achievement of a perfect score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
  • Creation of a program to sponsor high-potential women leaders to take on roles on corporate boards in the life sciences and other industries. [28]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "BIOGEN IDEC INC., Form 10-K, Annual Report, For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2014, Filing Data Feb 4, 2015". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  2. ^ "Biotech's Comeback Kid". Forbes. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  3. ^ "Idec to Merge With Biogen in $6.8 Billion Deal". New York Times. Retrieved 2003-06-24. 
  4. ^ "Biogen Drops Idec From Name". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2015-03-23. 
  5. ^ "Biogen Idec Inc. Stock Quote & Summary Data". NASDAQ. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Biogen Idec Inc (BIIB) Top Compensated Officers". Business Week. Retrieved 2014-04-14. 
  8. ^ "Biogen Idec (BIIB) Chairman Young to Retire". Retrieved 2014-02-18. 
  9. ^ "Does Biogen Idec Inc Have a New Blockbuster Hemophilia Therapy?". The Motley Fool. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  10. ^ "Avonex". National MS Society. 
  11. ^ "Biogen Idec’s Eloctate gains FDA approval". The Pharma Letter. Retrieved 2014-09-06. 
  12. ^ "Fampridine (Fampyra)". MS Trust. 
  13. ^ "Biogen Idec enters deal to acquire Fumapharm". First Word Pharma. Retrieved 2006-05-31. 
  14. ^ "FDA approves Gazyva for chronic lymphocytic leukemia". Retrieved 2013-01-11. 
  15. ^ "Biogen Idec’s PLEGRIDY™(Peginterferon Beta-1a) Approved in the US for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis". Reuters. 
  16. ^ "Biogen Idec’s Plegridy approved in Europe for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis". The Pharma Letter. 
  17. ^ "FDA Approval for Rituximab". National Cancer Institute. 
  18. ^ "UPDATE 1-Roche, Biogen end dispute over Rituxan follow-ons". Reuters. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  19. ^ "FDA approves Rituxan to treat two rare disorders". Retrieved 2011-04-19. 
  20. ^ "Cell Therapeutics buys Zevalin from Biogen Idec for $10M, with up to $20M extra plus milestones". The Pharma Letter. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  21. ^ "Tecifedra". National MS Society. 
  22. ^ "Tysabri". National MS Society. 
  23. ^ "Once-monthly MS drug from Biogen Idec, AbbVie clears Phase III hurdle". Fierce Biotech. Retrieved 2013-04-08. 
  24. ^ "Lingo: a promising remyelination target in MS". Multiple Sclerosis Research. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  25. ^ "Isis Pharmaceuticals and Biogen Idec". Fierce Biotech. 
  26. ^ "Biogen Sees Eloctate FDA Delay Pushing Marketing to Mid-2014". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2013-12-11. 
  27. ^ "Isis Pharmaceuticals and Biogen Idec". Fierce Biotech. 
  28. ^ "Biogen Achieves Carbon Neutrality". Business Wire. Retrieved 2015-06-28. 

External links[edit]

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