Biogen Slashes Forecast on Weakness of Tecfidera

Biogen Inc announced on Friday that it has slashed its outlook for revenue and earnings for the full year as its growth in sales for its multiple sclerosis drug is still weakening.

Biogen said it expects to have earnings per share of $14.25 to $14.70, which is down from its guidance released earlier of between $15.45 and $15.85 per share in earnings.

Biogen has forecasted growth in revenue of between 6% and 8%, which is down from its growth forecast earlier of between 14% and 16% that was released in January. The company cited new expectations for growth of Tecfidera the drug to treat multiple sclerosis.

Shares of Biogen plummeted 11.7% during trading before the bell on Friday as the drug maker reported revenue growth in its second quarter that was weaker than had been expected.

In the past few years, the resurgence of the company has been driven by Tecfidera, but sales have slowed amidst concerns over safety.

Revenue from Tecfidera was $883 million, which was up by 26% from one year ago when it reached $700 million. However, the growth rate has slowed from the year over year rate during the first quarter of 63%.

Biogen said that Tecfidera has seen moderate growth following its rapid uptake after its launch. The company also said that lower prices in Germany along with a fallout from a disclosure in October that a patient using Tecfidera died following the development of a rain infection in the brain, for the recent slowdown.

Overall, for this quarter ending June 30, profit at Biogen was $927.2 million equal to $3.93 per share, which was up from last year at the same time of $714.4 million equal to $3.01 per share. Excluding all special items, earnings per share reached $4.22.

Full revenue was up by 7% to end the quarter at $2.59 billion. Analysts had been expecting revenue of $2.72 billion. Tysabir, another drug for multiple sclerosis at Biogen saw its revenue drop by 13% to end the quarter at $463.1 million. Plegridy MS the drug that just recently was launched had revenue of $74.5 million.