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shares fell after the company said federal regulators will complete their review of its Amevive drug within the next six months -- later than the company had expected.

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In recent trading, the company's shares were down 5.5% at $32.50. Biogen's stock price has taken a beating in recent months, falling nearly 33%.

Amevive is designed specifically for patients suffering from psoriasis, a skin inflammation disorder that has no known cure. Biogen, based in Cambridge, Mass., said in August that it had expected the application to be approved by the FDA in early 2003.

The FDA classified the application as a "class 2 resubmission," which requires the government agency to reach a decision within a six-month time frame. Some analysts were hoping for a "class 1 resubmission," which would have enabled the company to get regulatory approval before the end of 2002.

Following the announcement, Prudential Securities pared its 2002 and 2003 earnings estimates for the drugmaker and cut its price target to $29 from $30. "We feel that last night's announcement is a short-term negative ... however, we caution that this could have longer-term implications for Amevive's ultimate launch, by reducing its first-mover adavantage," analyst John Sonnier said in a research note.