Regeneron a 'national strategic asset' for quick response to COVID-19 outbreak: analyst

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Despite Regeneron's inside track on a COVID-19 treatment, the virus could spell trouble for blockbuster Eylea's sales. (Regeneron)

Drugmakers of all shapes and sizes are chasing after therapeutics and vaccines to fight the novel coronavirus. But among the pack, one company's track record might give it the jump on a treatment—and at least one analyst is not afraid to heap praise on its efforts. 

Regeneron's "innovative horsepower and initiative" in its response to COVID-19, including a push to repurpose arthritis med Kevzara and quickly identify new antibodies to target the virus, has put the drugmaker in the lead to develop a treatment, Evercore ISI analyst Josh Schimmer said in a note to investors Friday.

After a luncheon with CEO Len Schleifer, Schimmer touted Regeneron's response not only to COVID-19 but also Ebola as a "national strategic asset" for the U.S. given the drugmaker's quick mobilization in outbreaks.

"Our most important takeaway is that the COVID pandemic is a lesson of how lucky the country is to have (Regeneron)––it is poised to perhaps have the biggest impact on this outbreak," Schimmer wrote. 

RELATED: Could arthritis med Kevzara hold promise against the novel coronavirus? Sanofi, Regeneron aim to find out