Feb 11 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc
forecast U.S. sales of eye drug Eylea to reach $1.7-$1.8 billion
in 2014 as it expects the drug to win approval for newer uses,
sending its shares up 3 percent before the opening bell.
Regeneron, whose stock has been propelled by the success of
Eylea, said U.S. sales of the sight-saving drug rose 46 percent
to $402 million in the fourth quarter. The drug's international
sales touched $184 million in the quarter.
Eylea is used to treat wet age-related macular edema - the
leading cause of blindness in the elderly. It is marketed by
Bayer AG in Europe.
Since its launch in late 2011, Eylea has become one of the
fastest-growing drugs in the history of biotechnology, grabbing
market share from rivals such as Roche AG's Lucentis.
The drug is also being evaluated in a late-stage study for
use in diabetic macular edema (DME) and macular edema following
branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO).
The jump in Eylea sales lifted revenue but the company's
fourth-quarter earnings fell short of analysts' estimates due to
significantly higher operating expenses.
The company's net income fell to $97 million, or 86 cents
per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $470 million, or
$4.08 per share, a year earlier. The year-ago quarter included a
non-cash tax benefit of $336 million.
Analysts had expected a profit of 98 cents per share,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total revenue jumped 47 percent to $610.4 million, helped by
collaboration revenue from partner Bayer. Expenses rose 48
percent during the quarter.
Regeneron shares rose about 3 percent to $311.50 in
premarket trading on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore, additional reporting by
Natalie Grover; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)