Two women walk by Biogen Idec corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. in this Feb. 15, 2006 file photo. (Elise Amendola/AP File)
Two women walk by Biogen Idec corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. in this Feb. 15, 2006 file photo. (Elise Amendola/AP File)
Two women walk by Biogen Idec corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. in this Feb. 15, 2006 file photo. (Elise Amendola/AP File)

Biogen is entering a field littered with expensive failures from such drug makers as Pfizer Inc and Eli Lilly and Co. Lilly and Roche Holding AG are both conducting trials on drugs that work the same way as Biogen’s, by blocking beta amyloid, a protein that forms toxic brain plaques that are theoretically an underlying cause of the degenerative brain disease.

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