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Biogen Beats Third-Quarter Earnings, Cuts Guidance

Drugmaker Biogen's third-quarter results feel the effect of generic versions of its multiple sclerosis treatment.
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Biogen  (BIIB) - Get Biogen Inc. Report beat Wall Street's third-quarter earnings expectations, but lowered its full-year guidance as the drugmaker said generic versions of its multiple sclerosis treatment cut into sales.

Shares of the Cambridge, Mass., company at last check were up slightly at $267.90.

Biogen reported net income of  $702 million, or $4.46 a share, less than half the $1.54 billion, or $8.39, of the year-earlier period. The latest adjusted earnings came to $8.84, ahead of the consensus estimate of $8.03 in a FactSet analyst survey.

Revenue totaled $3.37 billion, down 6% from a year earlier. FactSet's survey was calling for $3.33 billion of revenue.

Sales of the MS drug Tecfidera totaled $968 million, down from $1.12 billion a year earlier.

Biogen said it was adjusting its full-year guidance because during the third quarter it began feel the impact of multiple Tecfidera generic products in the U.S. 

In June, a U.S. district court judge ruled in favor of the generic-drug maker Mylan  (MYL) - Get Viatris, Inc. Report regarding the patent for Biogen’s Tecfidera. The judge said that Mylan proved that claims for Biogen’s patent are invalid for “lack of written description.”

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Biogen's sales of Spinraza, which is used to treat spinal muscular atrophy, were down 10% to $495 million. 

The company said it now expected full-year adjusted profit of $32.50 to $33.50 a share, down from its prior estimate of $34 to $36 per share. 

Biogen expects revenue for the year to range from $13.2 billion to $13.4 billion, compared with its previous guidance of $13.8 billion to $14.2 billion.

Investors are now focusing on a meeting next month of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration expert panel, Reuters reported.

The panel will discuss potential approval of aducanumab, which could become the first drug to delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, Reuters reported.

“We look forward to participating in the aducanumab Advisory Committee meeting" Nov. 6, "and we are excited about the prospect of aducanumab as a short- and long-term value-creation opportunity," Chief Executive Michel Vounatsos said in a statement. 

Biogen's board also authorized a program to buy back as much as $5 billion of the company’s stock.