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Lou Gehrig’s Disease May Bring Biogen $1 Billion Payoff

Biogen Idec Inc. Chief Executive Officer George Scangos was skeptical when he learned company researchers were pursuing a new treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease. No one knows the cause of the illness that killed the famous baseball player more than 70 years ago, and no medicine for it has been shown to slow its advance for long.

Scangos changed his mind after he took charge two years ago and reviewed data about dexpramipexole. The compound, which may slow disease progression, is now in the final stages of clinical trials required for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval, with results expected this year.