Biogen Statement on The Wall Street Journal Generic Drug Story

Biogen said today that patents relating to interferon beta-1a will not expire for a decade. U.S. 5326859 expires in 2011 and U.S. 5514567 expires in 2013.

Today’s The Wall Street Journal incorrectly stated that the patent expiration date for Avonex® was 2003. 2003 is when the seven-year Orphan Drug exclusivity granted to Avonex upon approval in 1996 is set to expire.

Biogen, Inc., winner of the U.S. National Medal of Technology, is a biotechnology company principally engaged in discovering and developing drugs for human healthcare through genetic engineering. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, the Company’s revenues are generated from U.S. and European sales of AVONEX(R) (Interferon beta-1a) for treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, (Please see full prescribing information at, and from the worldwide sales by licensees of a number of products, including alpha interferon and hepatitis B vaccines and diagnostic products. Biogen’s research and development activities are focused on novel products to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, neurological diseases, cancer, fibrosis and congestive heart failure. The Company maintains active clinical research programs in protein therapeutics, small molecules, genomics and gene therapy. For copies of press releases and additional information about the Company, please consult Biogen’s homepage on the World Wide Web at

Media Contact:

Tim Hunt
Director, Public Affairs
Biogen, Inc.
(617) 679-4996

Investment Community Contact:
Elizabeth Woo
Director, Investor Relations
Biogen, Inc.
(617) 679-2822