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Regeneron (REGN) Gains from Focus on Coronavirus Treatments

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Shares of biotech major Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN - Free Report) have gained 16.4% against the industry’s decline of 6.3%.


Price has rallied particularly in the past few days as Regeneron is one of the few biotech companies along with Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD - Free Report) , Moderna Inc. (MRNA - Free Report) and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK - Free Report) that is working on drugs and vaccines for the treatment coronavirus, as more and more cases are being reported every day.

Reportedly, President Trump has asked these companies to speed up their efforts for this cause.

Last month, Regeneron expanded its agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop new treatments combating the novel coronavirus, which has been declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

The HHS and Regeneron Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) focuses on the discovery, research, development and manufacturing of a portfolio of antibodies targeting up to 10 pathogens that pose a significant risk to public health, now including the Influenza virus and 2019-nCoV.

Regeneron’s fourth-quarter results were impressive, wherein both sales and earnings beat estimates on the label expansion of Eylea and strong Dupixent sales in moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis and asthma. Libtayo is off to a strong start as well. The company’s efforts to expand the label of its approved drugs and concurrently develop its pipeline are encouraging.

The FDA accepted for priority review the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for Dupixent, seeking approval for the treatment of children aged 6 to 11 years with moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis, with a target action date of May 26, 2020.

A phase II neoadjuvant study in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) was initiated as well.

The immuno-oncology platform with a wide portfolio of bispecific antibodies is progressing well too.

The company is also making collaborations to strengthen its pipeline. Regeneron entered into a research collaboration and option licensing agreement with Vyriad, Inc. to discover and develop new oncolytic (cancer-killing) virus-based treatments for various forms of cancer.

Importantly, Regeneron’s collaboration with BARDA to address the novel coronavirus is encouraging and a possible outcome should further boost performance.

Regeneron currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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