August 6, 2019 / 11:09 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 2-Regeneron beats second-quarter profit estimates on Eylea boost

(Adds analyst comment, details on Sanofi collaboration)

Aug 6 (Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc beat analysts’ estimates for second-quarter profit and revenue on Tuesday, boosted by double-digit sales growth of its blockbuster treatment Eylea in the United States.

The drug, injected into the eye to treat age-related macular degeneration and other diseases, is a major growth driver for Regeneron, and showed no sign of stopping in the quarter despite competition from Roche Holding AG and Novartis AG’s Lucentis.

U.S. sales of Eylea jumped 17% to $1.16 billion in the latest quarter, topping expectations of about $1.10 billion, according to consensus estimates compiled by brokerage Credit Suisse.

However, Eylea could face possible patent losses in the next five years and analysts expect sales to be further threatened next year by broluciuzmab, an experimental drug developed by Novartis.

Investors have also been cautious as the drug pricing debate rages on in the United States and they digest ambitious proposals from the government as well as from Democratic presidential candidates.

Among the many proposals aimed at lowering costs is a plan to create an “international pricing index” that would link the price Medicare pays for drugs to the lower prices paid overseas.

“These results represent a clear positive, albeit against the backdrop of drug pricing and broluciuzmab overhangs that will likely persist for the near-term,” UBS Securities analyst Carter Gould wrote in a client note.

The quarter was also helped by sales of Dupixent, developed in partnership with Sanofi SA. The companies have massed up approvals for three major diseases for their drug Dupixent including asthma and nasal polyps since the drug was approved in 2017.

Dupixent’s quarterly sales, recorded by Sanofi, rose 166.3% to $557.3 million, handily beating analysts’ consensus of $454 million.

Revenue from the company’s tie-up with Sanofi of $349.1 million also came in ahead of consensus estimates of $306 million.

Regeneron’s total revenue rose 20.3% to $1.93 billion in the second quarter ended June 30, beating the average analyst estimate of $1.80 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $6.02 per share, above the average analyst estimate of $5.41. (Reporting by Manas Mishra and Shivani Singh; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Maju Samuel)

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