NEW YORK (AP) — Biogen Idec Inc. said Friday its fourth-quarter profit edged up 3 percent on better sales of its multiple sclerosis drugs, and forecast earnings for this year above Wall Street estimates. The biotechnology company said it earned $206.7 million, or 70 cents per share, in the October-December period, up from $201.2 million, or 67 cents per share, a year ago. Biogen said it earned 93 cents per share from continuing operations, matching what Thomson Reuters says analysts expected. Revenue climbed 20 percent to $1.07 billion from $893 million a year ago, just below analysts’ estimate of $1.09 billion. Biogen says sales of multiple sclerosis drug Avonex grew 13 percent to $566 million. Revenue from another MS drug, Tysabri, rose 73 percent to $156 million. More than 37,600 patients were taking Tysabri at the end of the quarter, Biogen said. That compares to more than 35,500 patients at the end of the third quarter. Growth has slowed over the last few quarters. Biogen Idec sells Tysabri through a partnership with Elan Corp. of Ireland. Biogen’s share of revenue from the non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis drug Rituxan rose 20 percent to $303 million. The company sells that drug through a partnership with Genentech Inc. Total sales of Rituxan grew 14 percent to $677 million from $596 million a year ago. In 2008, Biogen said its profit rose 23 percent to $783.2 million, or $2.65 per share, from $638.2 million, or $1.99 per share. Revenue increased 29 percent to $4.1 billion from $3.17 billion, as Avonex sales grew 18 percent to $2.2 billion, and Biogen’s share of Rituxan revenue increased 22 percent to $1.1 billion. Tysabri revenue more than doubled to $589 million. The Cambridge, Mass.-based company said it expects a profit of more than $2.80 per share in 2009. Excluding one-time iterms, it put its forecast at more than $4 per share. Analysts expect $3.99 per share on average and typically exclude one-time items from those estimates. Revenue growth was forecast at less than 10 percent. Analysts expect $4.48 billion in revenue, which implies growth of 9 percent. Biogen said overseas sales of Rituxan are expected to slide because of the stronger dollar.