Aduhelm's 'Blockbuster Potential' Is Underappreciated, Says Biogen Analyst

Aduhelm's 'Blockbuster Potential' Is Underappreciated, Says Biogen Analyst

It's been about four months since Biogen, Inc. BIIB received approval for its controversial Alzheimer's treatment Aduhelm. The initial broad approval was later narrowed by the FDA.

The "Aduhelm opportunity" for the biopharma is underappreciated, an analyst said Thursday. 

The Biogen Analyst: Needham's Ami Fadia initiated coverage of Biogen with a Buy rating and $400 price target.

The Biogen Takeaways: Aduhelm sales may take time to ramp up and may miss consensus estimates in the near term, but it could rake in worldwide sales of over $6 billion in 2026, Fadia said in a note.

Insurance coverage could be a hurdle for adoption initially, the analyst said. Given the large market opportunity and the significant unmet need, Aduhelm will be a "significant blockbuster," she said.

Related Link: FDA Narrows Label To Recommend Use Of Biogen's Aduhelm In Mild Alzheimer's Patients

Needham's survey of physicians suggests that, while a majority of use is expected to be in patients with mild impairment, some with moderate and severe diseases will use it as well.

The base business will decline by about 8% per year from 2020 through 2026, mainly driven by the decline in the multiple sclerosis franchise, Fadia said, adding that this is discounted by the Street. 

Other upcoming catalysts for Biogen include:

  • CMS's preliminary national coverage decision on Ahuhelm, due in January, and final decision due in the second quarter of 2022
  • SAGE-217 Phase 3 CORAL and SHORELINE data, due year-end 2021
  • Tofersen Phase data, due in 2021
  • SB11 regulatory decisions by FDA and EMA in the second half of 2021 and
  • Tysabri Phase 3/4 NOVA Study data due in 2021

BIIB Price Action: Biogen shares gained 1.34% in Thursday's session, closing at $293.20. 

Posted In: AduhelmAlzheimer's diseaseAmi FadiaNeedhamAnalyst ColorBiotechHealth CarePrice TargetInitiationTop StoriesAnalyst RatingsGeneral