Biogen (NasdaqGS: BIIB) shares jumped more than 20% in premarket action Thursday after the company reported higher-first quarter profit and released encouraging data on an experimental multiple sclerosis drug.

The data on the drug, BG-12, was “very competitive versus other approved and pipeline MS therapies” and the results are “a significant catalyst for Biogen shares,” said Deutsche Bank analysts.

“We had a very solid first quarter based on the performance of our three blockbuster products,” said George A. Scangos, Biogen’s CEO, in the earnings release.

The company’s three main drugs are Avonex, Rituxan and Tysabri.

Biogen is a top holding among biotech exchange traded funds (ETFs). The largest by assets include iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology (NasdaqGM: IBB), SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEArca: XBI) and Biotech HOLDRS (AMEX: BBH).

Biogen accounts for 23.2% of Biotech HOLDRS.

iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology


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