Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ($REGN) is like a sports team on a streak that keeps bettors in the money by beating bookmaker odds time and again. This streak has gone uninterrupted for nearly two years.
The maker of the eye drug Eylea today topped Wall Street expectations for the seventh quarter in a row and again raised the earnings forecast for the phenomenally successful medication for age-related macular degeneration, Reuters pointed out. The condition is the most common cause of blindness among older patients, and Eylea is becoming the preferred treatment.
Sales of Eylea soared 153% in the U.S. to $314 million in the first quarter, and the drugmaker is now projecting sales for the year of $1.25 billion to $1.33 billion, slightly above the $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion it had previously put on the table. Sales outside the U.S., where it is partnered with Bayer HealthCare (excluding Japan), were not shabby either. It said they hit $65 million, compared with $19 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, when it was released in international markets.
|CEO Leonard Schleifer|
Shares spiked on the good news and were up 6.5%, more than $19, in mid-morning trading, reaching $267.67. The success of Eylea, which has been stealing market share from Roche's ($RHHBY) Lucentis, has not only been shared by investors but also by execs at the drugmaker. The executive compensation board handed out more than $140 million in pay, stock and option grants to the top managers last year. CEO Len Schleifer received $30 million of that, but Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos hit the jackpot. His award amounted to $81.5 million in cash, stock and options, including a 500,000-share retention bonus, worth $57.3 million.
Separately, the company said it would pay partner Sanofi ($SNY) up to $65 million in upfront and milestone payments for full rights to two preclinical programs for its growing business in ophthalmology drugs.
- here's the release
- read the Reuters story
Regeneron execs score $140M payday as Eylea mints money
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Regeneron keeps keeping on with Eylea