Biogen (BIIB $78.24) soared today on positive top line data on the Phase 3 Trial for oral BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) as a montherapy in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Results showed that 240 mg of BG-12 2x or 3x a day met the primary and secondary endpoints, providing a statistically significant reduction in relapse rate in the proportion of patients with RRMS.
Biogen currently markets the two leading drugs for MS, Avonex and Tysabri with Elan(ELN) both of which are injectable drugs. The study helps Biogen’s prospects against competitors Novartis and Teva, whose shares were down 2.9%. Elan(ELN) shares were also down 2.8%. Activist investor Carl Icahn has 3 representatives on Biogen’s Board and his hedge fund holds about 15% (12.8 m shares) of BIIB shares.
Biogen was added to the Rayno Biopharmaceutical Portfolio at a price of $48.50 in Q1 of 2009 and is up 61%.