Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) announced an agreement with theBiomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to manufacture and study two antibody therapies for the potential prevention and treatment of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Regeneron has previously published details on how its proprietary VelociGene® and VelocImmune® technologies enabled the rapid identification and preclinical validation of these antibody candidates.
HHS will provide funding to Regeneron of up to $8.9 million to support packaging and labeling of the antibodies for human use (known as “fill and finish”), the preparation and submission of an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and a National Institutes of Health-conducted clinical trial in healthy volunteers. Currently there are no approved medicines or vaccines to treat or prevent MERS, which causes severe respiratory tract infections and is associated with high death rates. Cases of MERS have been reported in the Middle East, South Korea, Europe, the United States, Africa and other countries in Asia.
“Regeneron has built a unique rapid response platform to address emerging infectious disease threats. In addition to the programs in MERS and Ebola that we are advancing with BARDA, we are also quickly progressing a preclinical program targeting the Zika virus,” said Neil Stahl, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Regeneron. “We are committed to partnering with the government and other organizations to swiftly address these emerging public health emergencies.”
Regeneron and BARDA have an existing agreement to advance a potential therapy for Ebola that was discovered and developed at Regeneron. The investigational Ebola therapeutic has recently entered a Phase 1 human clinical study and received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA.
The MERS antibodies have been discovered and developed pursuant to Regeneron’s antibody discovery and preclinical development agreement with Sanofi and are subject to Sanofi’s opt-in rights for development and commercialization. (Original Source)
Shares of Regeneron closed last Friday at $404.3, down $6.57 or -1.60%. REGN has a 1-year high of $592.59 and a 1-year low of $329.09. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $400.78 and its 200-day moving average is $388.15.
On the ratings front, Regeneron has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 17, Jefferies Co. analyst Gena Wang reiterated a Hold rating on REGN. Separately, on August 5, Leerink Swann’s Geoff Porges reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $511.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Gena Wang and Geoff Porges have a total average return of -9.1% and -0.4% respectively. Wang has a success rate of 35.4% and is ranked #3858 out of 4122 analysts, while Porges has a success rate of 42.6% and is ranked #2870.
The street is mostly Neutral on REGN stock. Out of 16 analysts who cover the stock, 9 suggest a Hold rating , 6 suggest a Buy and one recommends to Sell the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $483.25, which implies an upside of 19.5% from current levels.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. operates as a biopharmaceutical company. It discovers, invents, develops, manufactures, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions. The company involves in marketing medicines for eye diseases, colorectal cancer and a rare inflammatory condition and has product candidates in development in other areas of high unmet medical need, including hypercholesterolemia, oncology, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and atopic dermatitis.