Regeneron Climbs After Eye Drug Eylea Beat Analyst Estimate in One Month

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN) increased as much as 16 percent after net sales for the company’s Eylea drug used to treat a blindness-causing eye disorder were more than four times what analysts estimated.

Regeneron rose 11 percent to $72.45 at 10:05 a.m. in New York, after climbing to $75.83 in the biggest intraday increase since September. The drug, used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, produced $24 million to $25 million in sales from Nov. 21 to Dec. 31, the Tarrytown, New York-based company said yesterday. Regeneron said that 2012 sales from the medicine would reach $140 million to $160 million.

Eylea competes with Roche Holding AG (ROG)’s Lucentis, the Basel, Switzerland-based drugmaker’s fifth biggest-selling medicine at 1.46 billion Swiss francs ($1.4 billion) in 2010. More than 10,000 Eylea doses have been distributed to doctors, Len Schleifer, Regeneron’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. The company said that included pent-up demand from difficult-to-treat patients, Christopher J. Raymond, an analyst at Robert W. Baird in Chicago, wrote in a note to investors.

“Backing out stocking, it’s still a big number,” Raymond wrote. Raymond raised his rating on Regeneron to “outperform” and increased his target price for the shares to $81.

Baird had estimated $2 million in Eylea sales, according to the note. Phil Nadeau, an analyst with Cowen & Co., had estimated the drug would generate $5 million in the fourth quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meg Tirrell in New York at mtirrell@bloomberg.net; Catherine Larkin in Indianapolis at clarkin4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reg Gale at rgale5@bloomberg.net; Steven Fromm at sfromm@bloomberg.net

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