The Blockbuster Potential of Biogen Inc's Pipeline
Blue chip biotech stock Biogen has fallen out of Wall Street's good graces recently after reporting slowing sales growth of its multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera. While that might prove to be a short-term headwind that hampers top line growth in the near term, long-term investors should be interested in what kind of promising drugs that the company holds in its pipeline. Biogen appears to have a pipeline full of blockbuster potential, and given the recent weakness in the share price, right now might be a great time to buy this high quality pipeline at a discount.
So what's in the pipeline that looks so enticing?
DiversifiedopportunityWhile Biogen's current areas of focus are based around treatments options for multiple sclerosis (or MS) and hemophilia, the company looks to be investing heavily in a variety of other disease states as well. While some of these drugs are certainly likely to never make it to market, it's good to see the company making efforts to diversify its future revenue stream.
While the company is running plenty of trials to expand the labeling for drugs like Tysabri and Tecfidera, it has some very interesting compounds that hold blockbuster potential worth highlighting.
Multiple prospects for multiple sclerosisThe drug with the best hope of hitting the market soon is Zinbryta, which Biogen has created alongside AbbVieandis currently pending approval in the U.S. and EU. Zinbryta showed positive results in treating relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and appears to show clinical superiority to Avonex, Biogen's longtime blockbuster MS treatment. Zinbryta is a once-monthly injection, which if approved would certainly be more convenient for patients and providers than the weekly injection schedule that Avonex requires. However, it's important for investors to realize that an approval here would likely steal sales away from Avonex, so while it would extend Biogen's leadership position in the space, it doesn't appear to be a big needle mover for the company.
Another potential MS treatment worth highlighting is Anti-LINGO, which appears to hold huge potential -- this drug could possibly allow MS patients to help regrow myelin, which could restore nerve communication. Initial clinical results look promising, as this drug has shown an ability to repair the central nervous system in MS patients, which is a tremendous achievement. This therapy is in currently in phase 2 and certainly holds multibillion-dollar peak sales potential.
Orphan drug potentialISIS-SMNRx is an investigational drug designed to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a rare inherited genetic disease that affects one in every 10,000 children born worldwide. Patients with spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, lack a protein that helps with muscle control, causing difficulty eating and potentially leading to respiratory failure. ISIS-SMNRx helps to promote the production of a protein that helps improve the motor function and life span of patients with SMA.
The drug has been granted orphan drug designation with fast track status by the FDA, and is currently in phase 3 development. Analyst currently believe that this drug holds huge potential, as peak sales estimates are currently hovering around $2.8 billion. While Biogen would have to share a portion of this revenue with ISIS Pharmaceuticals, this drug still represents a great opportunity for revenue growth and further revenue diversification.
The big oneHowever, the opportunity that Biogen investors dream about most is Aducanumab, or BIIB037, which is currently being researched as a treatment forAlzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is aprogressive neurological disorder where patients experience cognitive decline and behavioral disturbances that eventually result in a person's inability to perform daily activities. There are currently few treatment options for patients, and yet this disease affects more than 25 million patients worldwide.
Early clinical results show for BIIB037 show promise for helping to slow the progression of Alzheimer's, andthe drug is currently enrolling patients for phase 3 study. While approval is far from certain, this drug holds truly massive revenue potential revenue potential if Biogen can successfully bring it to market.
A pipeline on saleBiogen appears to have a great pipeline full of revenue potential, and yet Wall Street has certainly soured on Biogen's stock recentlybecause ofslowing growth for Tecfidera. The price-to-earnings ratio has fallen to a levelthat it hasn't seen in years, providing investors today with a great chance to buy into the potential of this pipeline at a discount.
With Wall Street so focused on this quarter's results, I think investors have a great opportunity to buy into a proven winner with a strong pipeline at a discount. Biogen's stock is certainly on my radar, and it may be a great yet another great stock to consider buying if the market were to fall.
The article The Blockbuster Potential of Biogen Inc's Pipeline originally appeared on Fool.com.
Brian Feroldi has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Isis Pharmaceuticals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
Copyright 1995 - 2015 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.