Biogen Idec soars on promise of new drug

Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff/File 2008
Biogen Idec’s shares hit highest level since its IPO in 1991.

Shares of Biogen Idec hit an all-time high in 2011, after the Weston-based company released promising results from clinical trials of its experimental multiple sclerosis pill, BG-12. George A. Scangos, who took over as chief executive in July 2010, was busy over the course of the year reshaping the state’s largest biotech, which included cutting jobs, roughly 13 percent of Biogen Idec’s global workforce. He also has focused the company’s research on three areas: neurology, immunology, and hemophilia. The company has also been gradually scaling back its research and development spending, which had long been higher than the industry’s norm.