Health: The Unintended Consequences of a Biogen Meeting

The Story:

In late February, the biopharm giant Biogen held a conference in Boston that researchers into the ongoing pandemic now see as a “superspreader” event.


Biogen is listed on NASDAQ, and a NASDAQ 100 component. It seems a natural host of conferences in its field, such as the one held at a Marriot hotel Boston two months ago. Biogen is not known for work on the treatment of viral/respiratory infections. It is known, rather, for a focus on neurological conditions, and it is said to be at work on a treatment for Alzheimer’s that might prove a game changer.

This was an old-normal style conference. A lot of people gathered together in close quarters, sharing oxygen and discussing Important Ideas. Only a small number of them had any of the virus in their system when they got together, but many had it when they went their separate ways — back to homes all over the US and the world.

In Pill Form:

Nearly 100 people became ill immediately after the conference, and the Marriott shut down in mid March. There may now be several hundred who, directly or indirectly, can trace their illness to this vector.

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