Biogen Biosimilar Revenues Dip Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Tony Hagen

Tony Hagen is senior managing editor for The Center for Biosimilars®.

The company saw a 7% decline in biosimilar revenues in the second quarter of 2020 compared with the same quarter in 2019.

In the second quarter of 2020, net revenues climbed slightly for Biogen, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, although its biosimilar revenues declined somewhat amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—challenged marketplace. Overall revenues climbed to $3.68 billion from $3.62 billion, according to the company's earnings statement.

Biosimilar revenues were $172 million, down 7% in the second quarter compared with the same period in 2019. The decline came despite efforts to extend commercialization agreements and earnings improvement reported for the first quarter of this year.

Earlier this week, the company announced the appointment of strategic finance and operations specialist Michael McDonnell as executive vice president and chief financial officer, effective August 15, 2020. McDonnell currently is executive vice president and chief financial officer at IQVIA, a data and technology leader in the health care field.

Biosimilar Revenue Breakdown

The etanercept biosimilar Benepali brought in $106 million in the second quarter compared with $120 million a year earlier, a 12% decline and off 20% from the first quarter of this year.

Biogen’s adalimumab product Imraldi notched sales of $45 million, down 5% from $47 million a year ago, and down 27% from the first quarter of 2020.

The company’s infliximab biosimilar (Flixabi) saw sales climb to $21 million from $17 million in the year earlier quarter, a gain of 23%. However, sales of this product were down 13% from the first quarter of the year.

Other Revenues

Biogen, which specializes in the neurosciences, saw some increases in its multiple sclerosis fumarate product revenue. Fumarate medication helps to improve iron deficiency—related anemia. Overall, multiple sclerosis product revenues dropped 2% quarter over quarter.

Revenues from dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera) climbed to $1.18 billion from $1.15 billion a year ago; and sales of diroximel fumarate (Vumerity) were $9 million in the quarter just ended. The product was launched late last year at a controversial price of $88,000 for a year’s treatment.

In revenue guidance for the full year 2020, the company anticipated $13.8 billion to $14.2 billion versus its previous guidance of $14.0 billion to $14.3 billion.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company noted that supply channel inventory levels of its multiple sclerosis products increased by a value of $10 million during the second quarter, versus declines of $30 million in the second quarter of 2019 and $115 million in the first quarter of 2020.