Regeneron(REGN $28) stock soared today on two parallel Phase 3 studies with patients who had neovascular age related macular degeneration(wet AMD), the VEGF Trap Eye drug successfully met the endpoint compared to the current standard of care, ranibizumab dosed every month.Regeneron and its partner Bayer Healthcare plan to submit regulatory applications in Europe and the US during H1 2011. The results promise that the Regeneron VEGF Trap Eye drug could establish a new treatment paradigm for management of patients with wet AMD with predictable dosing every other month, compared to monthly injections with the current drug on the market. The new drug prevented vision loss in 95% of all patients with wet AMD a leading cause of blindness.
VEGF Trap Eye works by inhibiting proteins that affect formation of new blood vessels, a mechanism that also is useful for inhibiting growth of cancer cells. Roche/Genentech already has a similar drug on the market, Lucentis with sales of $1.2B last year, $703M for the first half of 2010, with Medicare reimbursement of $1593. Roche also has a cancer drug that is chemically similar called Avastin that sells for $42/dose and some physicians have opted to use it for AMD at doses needed for the eye.
Regeneron has two other products in Phase 3 development : Arcalyst (rilonacept) for a rare orphan disease(CAPS) and gout, and Aflibercept partnered with Sanofi-Aventis for colorectal and other cancers. Five additional antibody compounds are in clinical development.
Regeneron was added to the Rayno Biopharmaceutical Model Portfolio on 2/2/09 at a price of $18.