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First Albany Upgrades Biogen Idec to 'Buy'

First Albany upgraded Biogen Idec (BIIB) to buy.

Analyst David Webber says he's upgrading Biogen Idec on its plan, along with partner Elan, to file for FDA approval of the multiple sclerosis drug Angegren one year ahead of schedule. Biogen will submit one-year study data to the FDA, which Webber says must be compelling, as there are a couple of two-year trials underway. (

Webber had formerly rated Biogen Idec as neutral, to reflect his tepid view of growth prospects of the November, 2003, merger with Idec Pharmaceuticals, as well as the lack of near-term catalysts for the combined company. Assuming a standard 10-month review cycle, Webbers sees modest market penetration of 5% for Antegren in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2005.

He upped the $1.69 2005 earnings per share estimate to $1.87, and raised the $46 target to $60.

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