Surprise COVID-19 antibody sales of $804M help Regeneron trounce expectations in third quarter

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Spurred by antibody sales for a second straight quarter, Regeneron reported overall revenue of $3.45 billion, an increase of 51% year over year, well beyond the analyst consensus of $2.79 billion. (Regeneron)

Three months ago, when Regeneron revealed $2.59 billion in second-quarter sales of its COVID-19 antibodies, the company warned investors not to expect further sales of the treatment to the United States in the third quarter.

But that was before Regeneron realized the full impact of the delta variant and the increased demand it would create for REGEN-COV. Another lucrative deal followed and on Thursday the company revealed another $804 million for COVID-19 antibody sales in the third quarter.

Of the 1.4 million doses Regeneron agreed to supply the U.S. in mid-September, the company delivered more than 300,000 by the end of the month at a cost of $2,100 per dose. The company has until the end of January of next year to provide the contract’s remaining doses. The contract will produce a total haul of $2.94 billion, with its international distribution partner on the drug, Roche, supplying a portion of the doses to the U.S., the company said.

With the surprisingly high sales figure for REGEN-COV, Regeneron reported overall third-quarter revenue of $3.45 billion, an increase of 51% year over year and well beyond the analyst consensus estimate of $2.79 billion. Adjusted earnings per share were at $15.37, trouncing the estimate of $9.49.

“We anticipate an ongoing role for REGEN-COV,” CEO Len Schleifer said on a conference call. “If global demand warrants, we have the capacity to produce between four to five million 1.2 gram doses in 2022, excluding any further supply contributions from Roche.”

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Regeneron’s chief scientific officer George Yancopoulos sees an expanded role for REGEN-COV in the future as a prophylaxis for immunocompromised. The company has begun a trial to evaluate extended dosing for this population, Yancopoulos said. A novel anti-spike protein antibody cocktail also remains in development.

“If ever variants would arise that would raise problems for our current cocktail, we would have a complementary cocktail that ... would hopefully be unaffected by the same types of mutations,” Yancopoulos said. 

Meanwhile, as opposed to this summer when Regeneron dominated the COVID-19 antibody market, there is more competition. Earlier this week, Eli Lilly—which saw its antibodies sidelined for two months because of their ineffectiveness against variants—revealed a $1.29 billion deal to supply 614,000 doses to U.S. for mild to moderate COVID or as a post-exposure prophylaxis. Another antibody treatment, produced by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, has made agreements to supply 420,000 doses, including some to the U.S., it said in a September SEC filing.

RELATED: Amid COVID's latest surge, Regeneron and Eli Lilly score new antibody supply deals with the U.S.

Sales of atopic dermatitis treatment Dupixent, which are recorded by Sanofi, reached $1.66 billion in the quarter, a 55% increase year over year, and 4% over the previous quarter. Macular degeneration drug Eylea had sales of $1.47 billion in the third quarter, a 12% increase year over year.

“We see the strength of Eylea and opportunity for steady growth continuing despite upcoming potential competition from which we don’t see any disruptive or game-changing new entrants,” Schleifer said.