Biogen tops 3Q expectations as cost cutting continues

Biogen delivered a better-than-expected third quarter and hiked its 2022 forecast, as cost cutting continued to help the drugmaker balance sliding sales.

The maker of the multiple sclerosis treatment Tecfidera said Tuesday that it chopped research and development costs 22% and also booked a $504 million gain from a building sale as it reduced office space.

Total costs and expenses fell 54%, and net income more than tripled to $1.13 billion in the quarter.

Adjusted earnings totaled $4.77 per share. Total revenue slipped about 10% to $2.51 billion.

Analysts expected, on average, earnings of $4.13 per share on $2.47 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Sales slid for Tecfidera and other key products like Spinraza, which is used to treat a rare spinal disorder in children.

Biogen’s Alzheimer’s treatment Aduhelm brought in $1.6 million. Analysts once expected that drug to general billions in annual sales, but that was before the government’s Medicare program imposed strict limits on who could take treatment.

Biogen said earlier this year it would slash most of its spending on Aduhelm as part of its broader cost-cutting plan.

For the full year, Biogen now expects $16.50 to $17.15 per share in adjusted earnings. That’s up from a range of $15.25 to $16.75 that it forecast in July.

Analysts expect, on average, earnings of $16.51 for 2022.

Shares of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen Inc. started climbing before markets opened Tuesday.

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