May 3 (Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s first-quarter results beat analysts’ estimates for the seventh straight quarter as the sales of its eye drug Eylea continued to gather pace, and the company raised its 2013 sales estimate for the drug.
Regeneron expects Eylea to have sales of $1.25 billion to $1.33 billion, compared to its previous estimate of $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion.
Sales of the drug, which was approved by U.S. regulators in November 2011, rose 153 percent in the first quarter to $314 million.
The drug, which treats age-related macular degeneration — the most common cause of blindness in the elderly — is stealing market share from Roche Holding AG’s Lucentis treatment.
The company boosted its 2012 sales expectations of the drug four times last year.
Excluding one-time items, the company earned $1.78 per share, well above analysts’ average estimate of 98 cents per share.
Total revenue rose 90 percent to $440 million, also ahead of the average analyst estimate of $428.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Separately, the company said it bought full rights to two families of antibodies that are in preclinical development for use in opthalmology for $10 million each. The antibodies were part of its collaboration with Sanofi.
Regeneron’s net profit rose to $99 million, or 90 cents per share, from $12 million, or 11 cents per share, a year earlier.