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Biogen surpasses profit estimates in latest quarter thanks to successful cost-cutting measures and strong Leqembi launch

Biogen, a leading biotech company, has reported impressive profit figures for the first quarter, surpassing expectations. This positive outcome can be attributed to successful cost-cutting measures and the strong launch of their Alzheimer’s drug, Leqembi. The company’s efforts to reduce costs have paid off, while sales of Leqembi exceeded projections.

Leqembi, developed by Biogen in collaboration with Eisai, is the first drug approved in the United States to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Although the drug’s launch had a slow start, sales gained momentum in the first quarter. Leqembi generated approximately $19 million in sales for the quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations of $11 million. This significant increase in revenue highlights the growing demand for this groundbreaking treatment.

According to Biogen, the number of patients using Leqembi has nearly doubled since the end of 2023. Furthermore, the company reported a substantial increase in new patients starting the treatment in March, accounting for over 20% of the total patients on the drug. While a specific number of patients was not provided, Biogen’s CEO, Chris Viehbacher, previously stated that there were around 2,000 patients currently using Leqembi.

Biogen’s optimism about Leqembi stems from its potential to drive growth amid declining sales of its multiple sclerosis therapies due to generic competition. As the company continues its cost-cutting measures, it looks to Leqembi as a key revenue generator.

In terms of financial performance, Biogen reported sales of $2.29 billion for the first quarter, a 7% decrease compared to the same period last year. Despite this decline, the company recorded a net income of $393.4 million, or $2.70 per share, representing an increase from $387.9 million, or $2.67 per share, in the previous year’s first quarter. After adjusting for one-time items, the company’s earnings per share stood at $3.67.

Looking ahead, Biogen maintains its full-year 2024 adjusted earnings forecast of $15 to $16 per share, which aligns with analysts’ expectations. The company also reiterates its 2024 sales guidance, projecting a low- to mid-single digit percentage decline compared to the previous year.

Biogen’s success in the first quarter underscores the importance of innovative drug development and strategic cost-cutting measures. With Leqembi’s promising performance and the company’s strong financial position, Biogen is well-positioned to navigate the challenges of a competitive market and drive growth in the coming years.

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