Blockbuster eye med Eylea has been key for Regeneron ever since it won FDA approval in 2011. And now, the company has inked a deal it hopes will help it continue to deliver.
The New York biotech has signed a $315 million pact with Bedford, MA-based Ocular Therapeutix to develop a sustained release formulation of the standout med. That version will cut down on injection frequency in patients suffering from wet age-related macular degeneration or other retinal diseases, the company figures.
It’s the latest attempt from the Tarrytown, NY, company to maximize sales of Eylea, which brought in $831 million in the U.S. in the second quarter. That performance kept numbers in line with Regeneron’s Eylea guidance of 20% to 25% expansion for the year, though its trajectory has slowed from the blistering expansion clip the med put up in the earlier days of its launch.
Late last month, though, Regeneron suffered a trial failure for Eylea that put the kibosh on a combination with compound rinucumab. The duo failed to outperform solo Eylea at treating wet AMD in a Phase IIb trial.
Of course, Regeneron isn’t just relying on the Ocular accord to make the most out of Eylea sales. The company is trialing the superstar treatment with prospect nesvacumab in a Phase II study that began earlier this year.
Meanwhile, Regeneron isn’t the only company counting on Eylea to come up big. Recently, partner Bayer--which hawks the drug overseas--raised its peak sales estimate for the therapy to more than €2.5 billion from more than €1.5 billion in an effort to reassure investors that its mammoth Monsanto deal agreement wouldn’t take a toll on its pharma group’s performance.
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