Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) reported second-quarter earnings results today. So, how did the numbers look? Earnings per share came in at $0.54 minus one-time items, but revenue growth does appear to be decelerating, as can be seen below.


Y-O-Y Change

Q2 '06



Q1 '06



Q4 '05



Q3 '05



Q2 '05



Not all is bad for Biogen, though, as the company does have potential future growth drivers on the way.

The big news for Biogen and partner Elan (NASDAQ:ELN) this quarter was the return to the U.S. market of its multiple sclerosis drug, Tysabri. A further dose of good news was that Tysabri was recently approved in the EU as well. With a unique mechanism of action, Tysabri should carve out a profitable niche in treating MS.

Even if it steals some market share away from the company's other drug for MS, Avonex, the return of Tysabri revenues next quarter should help Biogen achieve faster top-line growth. Watching how well Tysabri sales ramp up in the upcoming quarters will give us a good indication of how Biogen's sales will grow for the remainder of the year.

The potential label expansions for Rituxan (awaiting FDA review) are the other growth driver for Biogen and partner Genentech (NASDAQ:DNA).

Besides expanded indications for Rituxan and the Tysabri launch, the rest of Biogen's drug pipeline is in early clinical stages, and it will be a long time before the company could see any revenues from these drugs. Biogen did make great steps in expanding its pipeline last year, when it signed a collaboration agreement on three drugs with Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick PDL Biopharma (NASDAQ:PDLI). These partnered drugs are all in phase 2 trials, and since only 30% of drugs entering phase 2 trials ever get approved, I'll wait for the companies to release the trial results before getting excited over them.

Biogen is not my favorite biopharma stock, but neither is it my least favorite. Ever since the merger with Idec, the company has been fairly well run (absent the Tysabri delays). Income for 2006 should be around $2 per share, and if Biogen can increase its top-line growth, my interest will be piqued.

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Fool contributor Brian Lawler owns shares of PDL Biopharma. He welcomes your feedback. The Fool has a disclosure policy .