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Here’s Why Biogen’s Shares Are Climbing Today

Trading On The Floor Of The NYSE As U.S. Stocks Rise With Oil After Best Weekly Gain Since NovemberTrading On The Floor Of The NYSE As U.S. Stocks Rise With Oil After Best Weekly Gain Since November
An American flag waves in front of the New York Stock Exchange.Photograph by Michael Nagle—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biotech giant Biogen (BIIB) rose 5% in Thursday morning trading after announcing first-quarter 2016 financials which beat earnings expectations despite a slight miss on sales and revenue.

Earnings-per-share rose 25% year-over-year to $4.79, beating out consensus estimates of about $4.47. But Q1 revenues of $2.73 billion were off expectations by about $20 million, in part due to ongoing headwinds presented by foreign exchange rates.

Tecfidera, a treatment for multiple sclerosis, continued to be Biogen’s best-selling product by far with sales of $946 million for the quarter. That’s a bit of a dip on a quarter-over-quarter basis but a big improvement from the $825 million haul for the drug during the first quarter of 2015.

During an earnings call Thursday morning, Biogen CEO George Scangos focused on the company’s pipeline and several major upcoming clinical trials for the investigatinoal therapies aducanumab and nusinersen.

“We are executing Phase 3 clinical trials for aducanumab in early Alzheimer’s disease and, along with our collaboration partner Ionis, we are progressing nusinersen in spinal muscular atrophy,” he said.

Biogen launched a massive reorganization late last year which involved lopping off 11% of its salesforce. The company is funneling much of those savings straight into its ambitious R&D program, including an all-in gamble on tackling Alzheimer’s and other central nervous system disorders.