Despite temporary increased drug sales for most big bio/pharma companies, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals falls short of Q1 2020 forecast, says GlobalData

Despite the COVID-19 challenges, most of the big bio/pharma companies had reported temporary increase in drug sales in Q1 2020, mainly due to the stockpiling in preparation for reduced or no medical access during the lockdown. However, not all companies fared equally. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was the only company to fall short of its Q1 2020 archived forecasts, underperforming by 1%, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Madeleine Roche, MSc, Associate Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Regeneron’s top seller, Eylea (aflibercept), one of the only three marketed drugs, requires hospital appointments for intravitreal injections, which decreased probably due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Additionally, preventative injections of the drug would have ceased completely due to the COVID-19 lockdown.”

The late 2019 launch of Novartis’ competing Beovu (brolucizumab-dbll), which requires less frequent administration and therefore fewer hospital appointments, also impacted Eylea’s sales.

Roche concludes: “Sanofi’s divestment of its 20.6% stake in Regeneron, which it announced on 26 May 2020, indicates that Sanofi is aware that Regeneron’s value has reached its peak.

“This puts even more pressure on Regeneron and Sanofi’s COVID-19 drug Kevzara (sarilumab), which is now in Phase III trials for COVID-19, to succeed, as the expectation of its success led to a 33% increase in Regeneron’s market cap in Q1 2020. If the drug fails, it is likely that Regeneron will see a rapid fall in market value and may not have the drug sales strength to recover.”

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