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SAN FRANCISCO — In some of his first extended comments since taking over as Biogen’s CEO, Chris Viehbacher described the commercial launches this year of an Alzheimer’s treatment and a new medicine for depression as “breakthrough” products will help the company return to sustainable growth.

But Viehbacher also acknowledged he has about six months of internal work ahead of him to fix the company’s cost structure. “We’re making $5 billion less in profits today than we did in 2019, and that hasn’t completely percolated through the company yet,” he said Monday at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.


Viehbacher, the former Sanofi CEO, took over Biogen’s top job in November, charged with steering the biotech back in a positive direction after a disastrous two years marred by the flattening of its multiple sclerosis business, a disastrous rollout of the Alzheimer’s treatment Aduhelm, the forced departure of top executives, and a sinking stock price.

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