Biogen's Commercial Head Exits as Drugmaker Reshuffles Sales

  • Kingsley departs months after disappointing revenue report
  • Biogen faces competition in multiple sclerosis from Roche

Biogen Inc.’s head of sales Tony Kingsley will leave the company, almost three months after a disappointing quarterly revenue report underscored the competition mounting against the drugmaker’s multiple sclerosis treatments.

The company has begun a search for a replacement for Kingsley, who had held the role since 2011, Biogen said in a statement Friday. The drugmaker didn’t cite a reason for his departure. Biogen’s head of manufacturing, John Cox, will handle the responsibilities of the job until a replacement is found.

Biogen is working to build investor confidence after its head of research and development left and the company slashed its sales forecast in July. In the second quarter, sales of its three largest drugs to treat multiple sclerosis missed analyst estimates. The medications may face more competition from an experimental treatment from Roche Holding AG, which showed success in a late-stage trial presented Thursday.

Biogen is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 21. The shares fell 4.1 percent to $268.32 at 3:17 p.m. in New York.

"The timing is obviously worrisome -- it’s right before they announce their quarterly results," Mark Schoenebaum, an analyst at Evercore ISI, said in a video sent to investors. He advises buying the shares.

Sales of MS drug Tecfidera were $883 million in the second quarter, below analysts’ estimates of $909 million. Avonex sales of $615 million were lower than analysts’ estimate of $692 million, and Tysabri’s $463 million in sales was short of the $496 million analysts had forecast.

Kingsley joined Biogen in 2010, according to the statement. Prior to Biogen he worked at Hologic Inc., Cytyc Corp. and McKinsey & Co. He declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

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