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Biogen's Alzheimer Drug Wins FDA Approval

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Market indexes started the day mixed and finished that way, too — but in reverse: the Dow, which was up 77 points ahead of the first opening bell of the week, wound up -127 points, or -0.37%. The Nasdaq, -12 points at this morning’s open, grew 67 points or +0.49% on the day, and is now back within 2% of its all-time closing high. The S&P 500 was -0.08% on the day, while the Russell 2000 beat its larger brethren, +1.43%. It’s the fourth up session in the last five for the small-cap index.

The big news today came from Biogen (BIIB - Free Report) , the biopharma major best known for its portfolio of treatments for autoimmune disorders like Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Today, the company won approval from the FDA for its Alzheimer’s treatment aducanumab, to be marketed under the name Aduhelm. The drug intends to slow the mental decline for patients of Alzheimer’s, the sixth most deadly disease in the U.S. This news brought the Biotech ETF (IBB - Free Report) to its best trading day of 2021, +3.44%.

This approval does not come as a shock to biotech analysts, but clearly the news was not priced into the stock. Biogen closed the day up 38% but had been up as much as 60% on the news, and this came after a brief halt in share trading. There have been inconclusive results in past trials for the treatment, though the FDA seems to agree that the possibility of helping a percentage of patients with the debilitating disease is better than nothing.

Biogen shares have at last swung to a profit year over year, and are now up 63% year to date. The company is still off its all-time highs back in March 2015, when the initial reports about aducanumab surfaced, giving hope to the treatment of a disease that many drug companies have come up short being successful alleviating. Each infusion of the treatment will reportedly run around $4000; with the millions of potential customers, this could one day be one of the top-selling drugs ever.

After the market close, Stitch Fix (SFIX - Free Report) shares have rocketed up 15.7% on its strong fiscal Q3 report, beating on both top and bottom lines. A headline of -$0.18 per share was an improvement on both the expected -27 cents and the -33 cents reported in the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $537 million surpassed the $511.4 million in the Zacks consensus.

The company counts 4.1 million clients, up 20% year over year. And higher revenue guidance for next quarter saw the share price bid up. SFIX is +132.5% in the past year.

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