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Biogen will start shipping Alzheimer’s drugs in about two weeks According to Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A sign marks a Biogen facility, some of its employees have tested positive for coronavirus after attending a meeting in Boston, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., May 9 March 3, 2020. REUTERS / Brian Snyder / File Photo

(Reuters) -Biogen Inc on Tuesday said it expects to begin shipping its newly approved drug Aduhelm in about two weeks and has prepared more than 900 healthcare centers for the infusion treatment. vein.

The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Aduhelm as the first treatment to target the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s disease, the sticky deposition of a protein called amyloid-beta.

Biogen (NASDAQ:) CEO Michel Vounatsos said on a call with analysts that the sites include clinical trial centers with amyloid-beta-positive patients that have now been tested. validation, as well as other locations with the infrastructure to diagnose and treat patients.

The company prices the drug at $56,000 per year, and patients who are prescribed it need to undergo additional testing in the form of a CSF test or a PET scan to confirm the presence of amyloid- beta in the brain.

About one to two million Americans have been diagnosed with mild dementia or cognitive impairment during the call, biogen chief financial officer Michael McDonnell said, who would test positive for amyloid-beta if tested. experience.

The need for PET or CSF testing and the limited availability of specialists to monitor patients taking the drug may limit the use of Aduhelm in these patients, McDonnell said.

He added: “We believe that the majority of patients diagnosed are not currently under the care of a specialist, and as a result we expect gradual uptake over time.

Revenue from Aduhelm could start to grow in 2022 and beyond, but could be low in 2021 due to the need for sites to prepare patients for diagnosis and treatment and the time it takes to secure drug coverage, McDonnell said.

Guggenheim analysts on Monday estimated sales of the drug could reach more than $1.3 billion by 2022. Shares of Biogen were down about 3% at $384.87.

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