Back to top

Analyst Blog

Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB - Analyst Report) and partner Elan Corporation recently submitted applications to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) seeking to update the label of their multiple sclerosis (MS) drugTysabri (natalizumab).

The companies are looking to get Tysabri approved as a first line treatment for patients suffering from certain relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) who have tested negative for antibodies to the JC virus (JCV).

The application is based on risk stratification data. Tysabri slows disability progression by 42% – 54% and reduces annualized relapse rates by 68%.

Tysabri is the primary growth driver at Elan. As per Elan, Tysabri global net sales in the third quarter of 2012 rose 9.8% to $306.4 million. However, third quarter 2012 Tysabri revenues at Biogen declined 1% to $275 million.

We note that Tysabri is approved in the US for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in patients who show inadequate response to or are unable to tolerate other treatments. In the EU, Tysabri is approved for treating highly active relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in adults who have severe RRMS or have not responded to beta interferon treatment.

In the EU, Tysabri was approved in 2006 and in the US it was initially approved in 2004. The product was withdrawn from US markets in 2005 due to the progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) concern. The drug was reintroduced by Biogen and Elan after a year with a strict warning regarding the occurrence of PML.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on both Biogen and Elan. While Biogen carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the short run, Elan carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Right now Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX - Analyst Report) looks more attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Please login to or register to post a comment.

New to Zacks?

Start Here

Zacks Investment Research


Are you a new Zacks Member or a visitor to

Top Zacks Features

My Portfolio Tracker

Is it Time to Sell?

One of the most important steps you can take today is to set up your portfolio tracker on Once you do, you'll be notified of major events affecting your stocks and/or funds with daily email alerts.

More Zacks Resources

Zacks Rank Home - Evaluate your stocks and use the Zacks Rank to eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Mutual Fund Rank Home - Evaluate your funds with the Mutual Fund Rank for both your personal and retirement funds.

Stock/Mutual Fund Screening - Find better stocks and mutual funds. The ones most likely to beat the market and provide a positive return.

My Portfolio - Track your Portfolio and find out where your stocks/mutual funds stack up with the Zacks Rank.

Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers for Zacks #1 Rank Top Movers

Company Symbol Price %Chg
PLANAR SYST… PLNR 4.44 +5.21%
BITAUTO HOL… BITA 81.71 +5.12%
CTPARTNERS… CTP 16.66 +4.26%
CHINA BIOLO… CBPO 47.91 +3.30%
MALLINCKROD… MNK 72.94 +2.85%