A group of the world's leading drugmakers have joined the U.K.'s ambitious initiative to sequence the genomes of 100,000 Britons, mining the data with hopes of finding new pathways to treat cancer and rare diseases.
Biogen's latest evolution is more than just a nominal shift, according to its CEO, as the Big Biotech lops the Idec from its name and hopes to parlay its success in multiple sclerosis into some tough-to-treat diseases.
The success of Biogen Idec's closely watched antibody targeting beta amyloid proteins in Alzheimer's disease is again bringing some excitement to a category that has defeated earlier enthusiasm as drugs have failed in trials.
Biogen Idec's heavily scrutinized Alzheimer's disease program came through with some positive early results, improving cognition and blasting away brain plaques in a small study many see as a validation of the company's ambitions in the field.
Biogen Idec has already primed expectations with remarks on promising results seen in early-stage results for its Alzheimer's drug BIIB037, so tomorrow's big reveal has focused a bright beam of attention on the company.
Biogen Idec's decision to replace a group of 20 R&D staffers in chemistry and neurology wasn't the first internal staffing adjustment at the biotech trendsetter. Biogen Idec axed about 21 staffers last fall in a reorganization of clinical operations, R&D quality and compliance, according to sources close to the terminations. That move back in September/October was the first of two rounds of group firings in a quiet internal reorganization, raising concerns that more such department restructuring lies ahead.
South Korea's Samsung Bioepis has submitted a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency for SB2, a biosimilar of autoimmune drug Remicade (infliximab) for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis.
Biogen Idec took a look at its R&D group and decided to trim out a small group of its research staffers on Thursday. A spokesperson for the company said today that about 20 staffers were let go following a review of the company's long-term goals.
Alkermes said the safety profile of its clinical-stage multiple sclerosis drug compares favorably to that of Biogen Idec's Tecfidera, citing the candidate's Phase I trial results on 104 patients.
Biogen Idec is aiming for slam-dunk sales of its multiple sclerosis powerhouse Tysabri, bringing on new sports talent to lead its MS campaign, "MS Inspiration," and to connect with patients with the disease.