Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) will report its earnings this Friday and dazzle investors with another strong showing for vision treatment Eylea. The company's trading up more than 100% in the past year and has Sanofi SA (NYSE:SNY) backing many of its projects. It's not a bad time to be Regeneron. But selecting well-rounded investments means looking at the broader picture -- especially what products will define the company's future.
But before we start digging pipelines...
A quick note on Sanofi Regeneron has several product deals going with Sanofi, and they all have the same basic terms. Sanofi has the option to co-develop pipeline drugs and would then pay all of the development costs up front. Regeneron will refund half from its future royalty payments if the drug make it to market. The companies would split profits in the U.S. and on a sliding scale basis in other countries.
Now on to the show...
Approved products Regeneron superstar Eylea received its first approval for wet age-related macular degeneration, a common cause of vision loss, and its second for macular edema following a retinal vein blockage. The drug's going up against Lucentis from Roche and Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS). As Sean Williams explains, a funny thing happened when Eylea hit the market last year -- it expanded to accommodate both drugs.
Eylea pulled in $838 million domestically in 2012 and might hit in the area of $1.2 billion this year. Regeneron had to raise Eylea sales estimates three times last year, so this week's report could get interesting. This is a partnered project with Bayer and the powerful backer will help grow this initial growth.
The other approved products have hit some snags.
Colorectal drug Zaltrap faced a public outcry last year because its high price tag didn't come with higher efficacy. Sanofi responded with a 50% price slash that puts it closer to the price of Roche's Avastin, which had nearly identical trial results.
Arcalyst currently serves the niche market for a rare genetic inflammatory disease. But Regeneron's attempts at a gout label expansion received a unanimous panel vote against Food and Drug Administration approval. The FDA wants more trials and data that show that the seemingly minimal efficacy is worth the potential cancer risks.
Phase 3 Regeneron and Sanofi teamed up on the rheumatoid arthritis injectable drug sarilumab. Mid-stage trials showedpositive results for RA but flunked out with ankylosing spondylitis, a type of arthritis primarily affecting the spine. RA will remain the drug's focus in the future.