Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. shares climbed to a four-month high after U.S. regulators approved its eye injection Eylea for use against diabetic macular edema, a disease in 1.5 million Americans that’s linked to vision loss.
Regeneron gained 5.8 percent to close at $322.18 in New York, its highest value since March 20. The company has gained 18 percent in the last 12 months.
Eylea, Regeneron’s top drug, was approved yesterday by the Food and Drug Administration for use against the illness, the Tarrytown, New York-based company said in a statement. The clearance came ahead of an expected Aug. 18 approval date.
Eylea is already used in the U.S. for wet age-related macular degeneration, a disease largely affecting people 60 and older. Diabetic macular edema is a complication suffered by diabetes patients, when fluid from blood vessels leaks into the retina and causes swelling, leading to vision loss and eventually blindness.
“Our consultants expect Eylea will rapidly gain share in DME,” Phil Nadeau, an analyst at New York-based Cowen & Co., wrote in a note to clients today. Its dosing is more convenient, and its effectiveness better than existing competitors, he said.