U.S. Approval of Biogen Alzheimer’s Drug Sends Shares Soaring

NEW YORK (Reuters) -
A vial and packaging for the drug Aduhelm. (Biogen via AP)

U.S. regulators on Monday approved Biogen Inc.’s aducanumab as the first treatment to attack a likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease despite controversy over whether the clinical evidence proves the drug works, sending its shares soaring.

Biogen said it has priced the drug, to be sold as Aduhelm, at $56,000 per year. After jumping more than 50%, Biogen shares closed up 38.3% at $395.85 – their highest closing level in over six years. U.S.-traded shares of Japanese partner Eisai Co. rose 56% to $116.03.

Wall Street analysts are now estimating peak annual sales for the drug ranging from $10 billion to $50 billion.

Shares of companies developing Alzheimer’s treatments also jumped, with AC Immune SA closing up 27.7% and Anavex Life Sciences up nearly 8%, while shares of Eli Lilly and Co. closed 10% higher and Axsome Therapeutics finished up 6.4%.