Biogen

Biogen Inc. (previously known as Biogen Idec) is an American multinational biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, specializing in the discovery, development, and delivery of therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative, hematologic, and autoimmune diseases to patients worldwide.

Biogen was founded in 1978 in Geneva by several prominent biologists, including Kenneth Murray of the University of Edinburgh, Phillip Allen Sharp of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Walter Gilbert of Harvard (who served as CEO during the start-up phase), Heinz Schaller, University of Heidelberg and Charles Weissmann, University of Zurich (who contributed the first product interferon alpha). Gilbert and Sharp were subsequently honoured with Nobel Prizes: Gilbert was recognized in 1980 with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in understanding DNA sequencing, while Sharp received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1993 for his discovery of split genes.

In 2003, Biogen merged with San Diego, California-based IDEC Pharmaceuticals (formed in 1986 by biotech pioneers Ivor Royston, Howard Birndorf and Robert E. Sobol) and adopted the name Biogen Idec. After the merger, Biogen Idec became the 3rd largest Biotechnology company in the world. Following shifts in research core areas, the company has since shortened its name, reverting to simply Biogen.[4] Biogen stock is a component of several stock indices such as the S&P 100, S&P 500, S&P 1500, and NASDAQ-100 and the company is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the ticker symbol, BIIB.

In May 2006, the company announced it would acquire cancer specialist, Conforma Therapeutics for $250 million.[6] Later in the same month, the company announced its intention to acquire Fumapharm AG, consolidating ownership of Fumaderm and BG-12, an oral fumarate, which is being studied for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and psoriasis.

In January 2007, the company announced it would acquire Syntonix Pharmaceuticals for up to $120 million, gaining Syntonix’s lead product for haemophilia B as well as the technology for developing inhalable treatments.

In February 2013, Bloomberg broke the news that Biogen was planning the pay Elan $3.25 billion for the full rights to Tysabri, used to treat multiple sclerosis.

In January 2015 the company announced it will acquire Convergence Pharmaceuticals for up to $675 million, with the acquisition aiming to accelerate the development of Convergence’s pipeline, in-particular CNV1014802 – a Phase II small molecule sodium channel blocking candidate.[11] In October 2015 the company announced it will lay off 11% of its workforce, effective immediately.

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