July 22, 2020 / 12:11 PM / 16 days ago

UPDATE 3-Biogen lifts full-year profit forecast as Tecfidera boosts quarter

(Adds details from conference call, analyst comment, updates shares)

By Manas Mishra and Trisha Roy

July 22 (Reuters) - Biogen Inc raised its 2020 earnings forecast on Wednesday after better-than-expected sales of its multiple sclerosis treatment Tecfidera helped the drugmaker beat second-quarter profit estimates.

The results brightened the mood following a setback in June on a key Tecfidera patent, uncertainty over approval of the company's experimental Alzheimer's disease drug aducanumab and rising competition for its other growth driver Spinraza.

The company's shares, down about 6% this year through Tuesday's close, rose 2% in a weak broader market.

"After the recent Tecfidera intellectual property loss and the delay in aducanumab filing relative to expectations, investors like the beat-and-raise quarter," said SVB Leerink analyst Marc Goodman.

Biogen, which named a new chief financial officer on Tuesday, now expects 2020 full-year adjusted profit to be between $34 and $36 per share, up from its prior forecast of between $31.50 and $33.50.

The raised forecast does not include any impact from the potential entry of generic versions of Tecfidera in the United States in 2020, the company said.

Biogen is awaiting feedback from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its marketing application for aducanumab and whether it has gained a priority review for the drug.

"We do have a voucher (to gain priority review). We received one when we got nusinersen (Spinraza) approved, but we haven't commented on how we're going to use it, when we're going to use it," Chief Medical Officer Alfred Sandrock said on a conference call.

Tecfidera generated sales of $1.18 billion in the quarter, ahead of Wall Street estimates of $1.11 billion, cementing its position as the company's best seller.

Excluding items, Biogen earned $10.26 per share, above Refinitiv IBES estimates of $8.03. (bit.ly/3jE7NBM)

Total revenue rose 1.8% to $3.68 billion, beating expectations of $3.43 billion. (Reporting by Trisha Roy and Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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