New Drug Approvals


Biogen Idec Inc. won European Union backing for Tecfidera, one of the first therapies for multiple sclerosis available in an easy-to-take pill that analysts say may generate $3.25 billion in annual sales.

Current MS drugs, including Biogen’s Avonex and Tysabri, are given by injection or intravenous infusion, and patient anticipation for Tecfidera may drive it to capture as much as 20 percent of the market within a year, according to Eric Schmidt of Cowen & Co. Sanofi (SAN)’s oral MS drug, Aubagio, was also recommended for marketing authorization today in Europe.

Biogen’s drug, formerly known as BG-12, will follow Novartis AG’s Gilenya to the market in the EU as an oral option for the treatment of MS. Because of its safety profile and efficacy, Weston, Massachusetts-based Biogen’s Tecfidera may generate $3.25 billion by 2017


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