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Biogen Avonex will launch in second quarter, CEO predicts; 50-person sales force will be hired.

Executive Summary

BIOGEN's AVONEX WILL BE ON MARKET "IN THE SECOND QUARTER," Biogen CEO James Vincent predicted Jan. 9 at Hambrecht & Quist's annual conference in San Francisco. Several steps remain before approval: FDA inspection of the manufacturing facility for the multiple sclerosis therapy will be rescheduled after cancellation the week of Jan. 8 due to a blizzard; and final labeling discussions must be conducted with the agency. Avonex was unanimously recommended for approval by an FDA advisory committee in December, just four months after its NDA filing in May ("The Pink Sheet" Dec. 11, 1995, p. 5).



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