Regeneron profit beats, expects early results from COVID-19 trials in September

(Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN.O beat second-quarter profit estimates on Wednesday, helped by higher sales of its eczema drug Dupixent and said it expects initial data from ongoing trials of its COVID-19 antibody cocktail next month.

The company’s shares were up 3% at $668.35 before the bell.

Regeneron is among several drugmakers racing to develop a treatment for the novel coronavirus and earlier this week said its experimental COVID-19 antibody drug combination, REGN-COV2, prevented and treated the disease in rhesus macaques and hamsters.

REGN-COV2 is already being assessed in late-stage human studies and the company said on Wednesday it expects early data from the trials next month.

Continued lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus have prompted patients to reschedule their hospital visits, weighing on sales of physician-administered drugs such as Regeneron’s blockbuster drug Eylea.

U.S. sales of Eylea, approved for treating wet age-related macular degeneration, fell to $1.11 billion from $1.16 billion, but came in above Wall Street estimates of $1.06 billion, according to brokerage Piper Sandler.

“We think demand concerns were overblown, as the franchise performed despite pandemic headwinds (and competitors discussing segment weakness),” Credit Suisse analyst Evan Seigerman said.

Weakness in Eylea sales was offset by a nearly 70% jump in sales of Dupixent, made in collaboration with Sanofi.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned $7.16 per share, handily beating estimates of $5.98, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Revenue rose 23.7% to $1.95 billion, higher than estimates of $1.74 billion.

Regeneron also recorded revenue in the quarter related to funding from the U.S. government to support development of its Ebola treatment and antibodies for the treatment of COVID-19.

Reporting by Dania Nadeem and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta