• FDA approves TYSABRI® (natalizumab) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease in patients who have failed or cannot tolerate available therapies.


  • Biogen Idec continues to expand its global footprint, opening offices in Brazil, China and India.
  • Escoublac is selected as the first occupant in the Biogen Idec Innovation Incubator (bi3), a corporate initiative designed to contribute to the company’s pipeline by offering entrepreneurial scientists the opportunity to rapidly convert novel biological insights into life-saving and life-changing therapies.
  • The Board of Directors authorizes management to undertake a review of strategic alternatives to determine whether a sale of the company might result in superior value for stockholders. At the conclusion of the sale process, the company does not receive any definitive offers, and the Board announces that Biogen Idec will continue as an independent company.
  • Biogen Idec announces an alliance with Neurimmune Therapeutics to develop novel, fully human antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Biogen Idec partners with Cardiokine to jointly develop lixivaptan, an oral compound that in early 2008 entered a Phase III clinical trial for the potential treatment of hyponatremia in patients with acute decompensated congestive heart failure.
  • National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends TYSABRI for use in highly active relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.
  • Biogen Idec returns $3 billion to investors through a share repurchase.
  • Biogen Idec acquires Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, adding programs in hemophilia to the pipeline. Syntonix is operated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Biogen Idec.


  • TYSABRI is reintroduced in the U.S. and launched in the European Union as a treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Biogen Idec acquires Conforma Therapeutics and expands oncology pipeline and research capabilities.
  • FDA approves RITUXAN® for the treatment of moderate-to-severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA).


  • Biogen Idec and PDL BioPharma form global alliance to develop three Phase II antibody products.
  • Biogen Idec and Elan voluntarily suspend the marketing and commercial distribution of TYSABRI and inform physicians to suspend dosing until further notification. The companies also suspend dosing in all ongoing clinical trials.


  • Construction of the San Diego Research and Corporate Campus completed.
  • FDA grants accelerated approval for TYSABRI for relapsing forms of MS. The approval was based on Priority Review of one-year data from two Phase III studies.


  • In June 2003, Biogen and IDEC Pharmaceuticals announce their agreement to merge. This merger is finalized in November 2003, creating Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB), a global biotechnology leader with products and capabilities in oncology, neurology and immunology.
  • Biogen breaks ground on a large-scale manufacturing plant in Denmark.


  • Biogen’s 90,000-liter large-scale manufacturing plant in Research Triangle Park, N.C., becomes operational.


  • Biogen and Elan Corporation, plc announce collaboration on development and commercialization of the drug candidate ANTEGREN (natalizumab) in MS and Crohn’s disease indications. This product later becomes known as TYSABRI.


  • Biogen breaks ground on a large-scale manufacturing plant in Research Triangle Park, N.C.


  • FDA approves RITUXAN for the treatment of certain types of B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) – the first monoclonal antibody to be approved as a cancer therapeutic.
  • European Commission approves AVONEX (Interferon beta-1a) for European marketing and sales.


  • FDA approves Biogen’s AVONEX (Interferon beta-1a) for treatment of relapsing forms of MS.


  • Biogen expands to Research Triangle Park, N.C.
  • IDEC signs collaboration agreement with Genentech for further development and marketing of RITUXAN, in U.S. and Europe.


  • Phillip Sharp, Ph.D., of MIT and a founder of Biogen, receives the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of split genes. Professor Sir Kenneth Murray of the University of Edinburgh, another Biogen founder, is knighted for his discovery of hepatitis B antigens.
  • IDEC begins Phase I clinical trials with IDEC-C2B8, a monoclonal antibody product later known as RITUXAN (rituximab). A Phase II trial begins later that year.


  • IDEC holds its Initial Public Offering, becoming a NASDAQ-traded firm under the symbol IDPH.


  • SmithKline Beecham, Biogen’s licensee for its hepatitis B technology, launches Engerix-B (hepatitis B vaccine) in the United States.


  • Biogen’s worldwide licensee for recombinant alpha interferon, Schering-Plough, begins commercial sales of Intron A (interferon alfa-2b) – the first Biogen-developed product – for the treatment of hairy cell leukemia.


  • IDEC Pharmaceuticals is founded in San Francisco, Calif., to develop and commercialize “anti-idiotype” monoclonal antibodies, a patient-specific, customized approach to treating non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


  • Biogen holds its Initial Public Offering, becoming a NASDAQ-traded firm under symbol BGEN.


  • Walter Gilbert, Ph.D., of Harvard University and one of Biogen’s founders, receives the Nobel Prize for sequencing nucleotides. Biogen enters into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with Schering-Plough Corporation for beta interferon.


  • A group of the world’s most accomplished biologists gather in Geneva, Switzerland, to discuss founding a new kind of pharmaceutical company. Biogen NV is incorporated.