February 14, 2003 Friday
AFX European Focus
Biogen Inc said there is plenty of clinical data showing that its multiple sclerosis drug Avonex is effective in treating relapsing MS, playing down a report in British medical journal The Lancet.
Spokesman Tim Hunt said that clinical papers are published within the MS community on a monthly basis "and they have been for two years".
"There's a wealth of clinical information that Avonex, like other interferons, provides extremely well-established efficacy in relapsing MS," he said.
Biogen and shares of Serono AG and Schering AG, which also make an interferon-based MS drug, fell today after The Lancet questioned the long-term efficacy of their drugs.
Biogen earlier said it is revising its fourth quarter and full year 2002 earnings to include a 55 mln usd settlement reached with Berlex Laboratories in January.
The biotech company said that Generally Accepted Accounting Principles require the adjustment for certain events which happen subsequent to the first earnings release.
The 55 mln usd charge cuts earnings per share to 27 cents for the fourth quarter. Biogen originally reported EPS of 53 cents. Operating EPS, which excludes the charge, remains unchanged at 43 cents.
For the full year, the company is now reporting EPS of 1.31 usd, compared with its original 1.57 usd figure.
Operating EPS stood at 1.59 usd per share.
At 11.46 am, Biogen shares were trading down 78 cents, or 2.1 pct,
at 36.79 usd.
© Copyright 2003 AFX News Limited