Biogen's latest “blockbuster drug” could generate billions
Spinraza is the world’s first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy and could drive sustained growth for the drug manufacturer for years to come.
Industry experts believe that Biogen Inc could have another so-called “blockbuster drug” on their hands as sales of Spinraza, which is the first approved treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, blew analysts’ predictions out of the water.
Sales of the new product have driven a strong first quarter performance for the company and it’s believed that the new drug could drive future growth for Biogen – and that’s despite it having a price tag of $750,000 for the first year and $375,000 annually, which makes it one of the most expensive prescription drugs in the country.
Spinraza is the first treatment of its kind and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December to be used to combat SMA, which is the leading genetic killer of children.
Analysts have projected that Spinraza could generate between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in sales worldwide within five years, if regulators around the globe approve its sale.
The new product generated sales of $47 million, around three times what was estimated during a survey last week by financial firm Mizuho Securities.
Sales of Spinraza were projected at $16 million in the first quarter and $186 million for the full year but Mizuho biotech analyst Salim Syed wrote to investors earlier this week: “Spinraza beat consensus by a wide margin.”
Both the quarterly revenue and profit figures were higher than expected after the launch of the drug, which is the first under new Chief Executive Officer Michel Vounatsos, who replaced George Scangos at the start of the year.
Biogen said that its overall first-quarter revenue climbed 3 percent over the same quarter last year, to $2.8 billion, and profits for the quarter saw a 7 percent increase, to $1.1 billion.
Vounatsos said in a statement: “The value this therapy provides to patients is compelling, and we are working to accelerate patient access globally.”