Drug Maker Biogen Lowers Outlook
%mlink(STRY:; PHOTO:; AUDIO:%)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) _ Shares of Biogen Inc. fell sharply on Friday after the drug developer lowered its earnings forecasts for the second quarter and 2002 on slower than expected sales of its one product on the market, multiple sclerosis drug Avonex.
In March, the Food and Drug Administration approved a rival MS drug, Rebif, made by Swiss pharmaceutical company Serono SA.
Biogen said Friday it expects second-quarter Avonex revenues between $170 million and $180 million, about $20 million below previous expectations, which will reduce earnings about 9 cents per share.
The company now expects earnings of 28 to 32 cents per share, down from 40 cents expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call.
Shares of Biogen dropped $5.71, or 12 percent, to $41.99 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Cambridge-based Biogen said it expects operating earnings per share for the full year to be between $1.50 and $1.60. Analysts were expecting $1.72.
Biogen said Avonex’s market share had fallen below expectations and wholesalers were reducing inventories.
Last month, an FDA advisory panel recommended approval of Amevive, a psoriasis drug that if approved would be Biogen’s second product to market.