Antegren Case Study

8261 Words34 Pages
NOVEMBER 14, 2007


Antegren: A Beacon of Hope
As Jim Mullen, CEO of Biogen Idec, drove into work on February 19, 2004, he considered both the tremendous hope and stiff challenge generated by the company the previous day. The company had announced its intention to submit an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking approval for Antegren, a drug that Biogen Idec was developing in partnership with Elan to treat multiple sclerosis (MS).
While the patient community and investors greeted the news with excitement, Mullen knew that to fulfill the promise of Antegren, he would need to make a number of crucial decisions and the company would need to bring the drug to
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This process could take months and typically required extensive lead time to schedule meetings and review data with insurers—data that had to be convincing. Early FDA approval would mean short-circuiting that whole methodical process, and it was unclear if this could be finalized before the drug was approved.
Although all the signals from the FDA were positive, there was also the risk that the FDA, which itself had been going through a period of upheaval, would not approve Antegren. If this happened, the reputation risk to Antegren could be irreversible, even if it was approved at a later date after further trials.
Mullen knew his responsibility was nothing short of transforming the promise of Antegren into reality. He had to determine how to get the drug made and accessible to patients, and he had to lead the company to execute—in record time—on those plans. Mullen knew Biogen Idec could fulfill the high hopes of patients and investors, and now his task was to lead the company to do so.

Biogen Idec History2
Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen was founded in 1978, in the early days of the biotechnology industry. The company’s underpinnings rested on a tradition of great lab science. The company was one of the first to develop recombinant proteins using genetic technology. Two of its co-founders, Phillip Sharp and
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