Elan said the number of people using Tysabri has risen 54% over the past year to 39,300, slightly more than half of them in the United States, most of the rest in the European Union. Elan's share of first-quarter Tysabri income totaled $158 million, up 48%. It said every 10,000 users of Tysabri represents $100 million in profits for Elan.
It cited data published last month in the Lancet medical journal that said 37% of MS patients using Tysabri had remained free from disease progression for two years, compared with 7% of those taking a placebo.
Research has shown Tysabri works better than long-established treatments but it has faced regulatory and marketing hurdles because of its link to a rare, usually fatal brain-swelling disease called PML.
Elan and Biogen initially pulled Tysabri from the U.S. market in February 2005 when it reported three cases of PML in Tysabri users, two of whom died. American and EU regulators cleared Tysabri for sale in mid-2006 but under much stricter conditions, citing its PML risk.Biogen said last week that regular scans of Tysabri users had detected a sixth confirmed case of PML since the drug's reintroduction in 2006. Elan and Biogen had already informed investors of five of those cases from August 2008 to February 2009. Both companies have declined to specify whether any of the recent PML victims have died. Biogen specified that the sixth PML victim had been taking Tysabri for 31 months, longer than the previous five.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV