Biogen

(BGEN)

said Monday that an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to review its experimental psoriasis drug, Amevive, on May 23.¿

The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech firm filed an approval application for Amevive with the FDA and European regulatory authorities last August.¿

The Dermatologic and Opthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee will review Amevive and pass its recommendation to the full FDA, which has final say on the drug's approval. Amevive is the first of a new crop of drugs aimed at treating the painful, inflammatory skin disorder without the long-term health risks associated with current regimens.

Genentech

(DNA)

,

Immunex

(IMNX)

,

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

and

Medimmune

(MEDI)

are also developing similar psoriasis drugs.¿

Biogen needs Amevive to be a success because its lucrative multiple sclerosis drug, Avonex, now faces stiff U.S. competition from a similar drug marketed by Swiss biotech firm

Serono

.¿

Biogen shares were down 18 cents to $48.88 in early Monday trading.