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Regeneron and Bayer say Eylea meets new study goal

NEW YORK (AP) -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bayer HealthCare said Thursday that their eye drug Eylea met its main goal in a new late-stage clinical trial.

The companies said Eylea was more effective than a sham injection in treating a condition called myopic choroidal neovascularization, a retina disease that affects people who are severely myopic.

In myopic choroidal neovascularization, new, abnormal blood vessels grow into the retina. That leads to progressive vision loss.

Bayer HealthCare said it expects to submit the first application for regulatory approval for this indication in Asia in the second half of 2013.

In the U.S., Eylea is approved as a treatment for the eye conditions "wet" age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly, and central retinal vein occlusion. Regeneron markets Eylea in the U.S. and the companies share profits on sales in most other countries.

Regeneron expects $1.25 billion to $1.33 billion in sales of the drug in 2013.

Shares of Regeneron rose $17.53, or 7.6 percent, to $247.17 in afternoon trading. Its shares are trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $107.31 to $283.99.