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The Boston Globe

Business

In ALS drug, Biogen Idec sees a game changer

NEW YORK - Biogen Idec Inc.’s chief executive, George Scangos, was skeptical when he learned company researchers were pursuing a new treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease. No one knows the cause of the illness that killed the famous baseball player more than 70 years ago, and no medicine has been shown to slow its advance for long.

Scangos changed his mind after he took charge of the Weston, Mass., company two years ago and reviewed data about dexpramipexole. The compound, which may slow the disease’s progression, is in the final stages of clinical trials required for Food and Drug Administration approval, with results expected this year.

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