Tysabri sales topped $1bn last year
Biogen has said annual sales of multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri topped $1bn for the first time last year amid increasing reports of a deadly brain infection linked to the treatment.
Tysabri had been taken by 48,800 patients worldwide, including 24,500 in the US, by the end of 2009, a 30pc increase from a year earlier, Biogen said today in a statement. The company shares the drug’s revenue with marketing partner Elan, of Dublin.
European regulators said in October that Tysabri was linked to four deaths and 24 infections of PML, or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, since the medicine was reintroduced in 2006, 11 more cases than previously disclosed.
On October 23, shares of Biogen and Elan plunged on reports of new infections as investors worried that the rise in cases may alarm doctors and spark additional regulatory scrutiny.
“We will continue to focus on accelerating the growth of Tysabri,” Chief Executive Officer James Mullen said in today’s statement.
Biogen fell 18 cents to $53.72 at 9:37 a.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. Elan rose 2 cents to €5.09 in Dublin trading.