Regeneron ups Eylea forecast after Q1 revenue beat


Last quarter, Regeneron rolled out 2016 growth expectations for star eye med Eylea that marked a big slowdown from 2015’s 54% clip. Now, though, the New York biotech says the slowdown won’t be quite as drastic as it initially expected.

On Thursday, Regeneron ($REGN) raised its guidance on the drug, taking it to a sales growth range of 20% to 25%. That’s an improvement from the 20% growth it forecast in February--though, as execs pointed out at the time, even that kind of performance would be a “pretty big deal” for a product in its fifth year of launch.

So why the higher expectations? Eylea--which Regeneron sells in the U.S., with partner Bayer handling Europe--beat the Street for the Tarrytown company in Q1, generating $781 million against the $769 million analysts expected. That performance helped total revenue surpass its mark too; it tallied $1.2 billion, passing a $1.17 billion consensus estimate. Non-GAAP EPS fell in line, checking in at $2.57.

Of course, these days Eylea is no longer Regeneron’s only moneymaker. It’s got PCSK9 therapy Praluent to its name, and as Sanofi ($SNY) reported last week, that newcomer brought in $13 million for the quarter--just over half the $25.4 million haul Wall Street predicted.

The good news for the pair on the PCSK9 front is that access is strong, Evercore ISI analyst Mark Schoenebaum wrote in a note to clients. As of April 1, 74% of commercially insured lives and 91% of Medicare lives had access to Praluent, which has fought for coverage against Amgen ($AMGN) nemesis Repatha.

And when it comes to who’s winning that race, “right now the U.S. market seems to be roughly split” between the two, Schoenebaum said.

- read Regeneron's release 

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