Biogen Inc. (BIIB) is at the forefront of the biotechnology industry — one of the world’s most important and least understood sectors. The $73 billion company’s entire product line consists of a handful of very expensive, highly effective drugs that combat some of the worst afflictions humans can suffer, including multiple sclerosis, leukemia and hemophilia. Unlike many pharmaceutical company’s products, Biogen’s drugs are not the mass-marketed ones advertised on prime-time TV. Rather, Biogen targets a smaller, more motivated clientele. If you want help with anxiety or your inability to put the fork down, Biogen can’t help you; if you have MS or a handful of other debilitating conditions, it can. (For more, see: 3 Things Biogen’s Management Wants You to Know.)

Biogen’s drug line is what keeps the company’s income statements looking so good and with new products in the pipeline, the future is bright. Revenue came in at $12.3 billion in 2017, up 7% from 2016. Biogen has plans to delve into drugs that counter Alzheimer’s, lupus and stroke. (For more, see: Can Biogen Change How We View Alzheimer’s Disease? and Is This Biogen’s Next Billion-Dollar Blockbuster?)

Treating MS

According to Biogen’s own literature, 38% of multiple sclerosis sufferers worldwide use the company’s drugs, making the company $8.9 billion. That’s pretty impressive since the company manufactures just 12 drugs (nine if you exclude a psoriasis medication available only in Germany). six of the pharmaceuticals Biogen manufactures — Tecfidera, Avonex, Plegridy, Fampyra, Tysabri, and Zinbryta — treat MS. (For related reading, see: The Ups and Downs of Biotechnology.)

Tecfidera costs $128 per daily dose and is the best selling oral MS drug in the United States. Oral MS drugs are a recent development and since Tecfidera went on the market in 2013, some…