REGN Predicts Eylea Growth in 2013

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) recently announced that sales of its eye drug Eylea for the final quarter of 2012 came in at $276 million. The company further announced that 2012 US sales of the drug for 2012 were $838 million. Sales of the eye-drug in 2012 were above the company’s projected range of $790-$815 million. However, the sales figures of Eylea reported by the biopharmaceutical company failed to find favor with the investors and adversely impacted the stock price. Detailed financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2012 are expected to be announced by Regeneron shortly.

Regeneron expects sales of Eylea to increase by 50% in 2013 over 2012 levels. Consequently, 2013 sales are expected in the range of $1.2-$1.3 billion. We remind investors that Eylea was launched in the US in November 2011 for treating patients suffering from the neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration. The drug was cleared in the EU for the same indication late last year. In September 2012, the label of the drug was successfully expanded in the US to treat patients suffering from macular edema following central retinal vein occlusion (:CRVO).

Partner Bayer is seeking approval of Eylea for the CRVO indication in the EU. Eylea is also being studied for other indications, such as diabetic macular edema and macular edema following branch retinal vein occlusion and myopic choroidal neovascularization.

Per the agreement, Bayer is responsible for marketing Eylea in ex-US markets on approval. The profit earned from the sales of the drug in those markets will be shared equally by the companies. However, Regeneron owns the entire US rights pertaining to the eye drug.

We have a Neutral stance on Regeneron, which carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) in the short run. Biopharma stocks, which appear to be more favorably placed, include Peregrine Pharma (PPHM). The stock carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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