Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) announced financial results for the second quarter of 2016 and provided a business update.

“In the first half of this year, EYLEA continued to demonstrate strong sales growth, and Praluent sales made steady progress as healthcare providers become more familiar with this new therapeutic class and learn to navigate payer utilization management criteria,” said Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regeneron.  “In the second half of the year, for sarilumab in rheumatoid arthritis, we look forward to the upcomingU.S. regulatory decision and potential launch.  We also recently completed a U.S. regulatory submission for dupilumab for the treatment of atopic dermatitis and are working to bring this breakthrough therapy to patients as soon as possible.”

Business Highlights

Marketed Product Update

EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection for Intravitreal Injection

  • In the second quarter of 2016, net sales of EYLEA in the United States increased 27% to $831 million from $655 million in the second quarter of 2015. Overall distributor inventory levels remained within the Company’s one- to two-week targeted range.
  • Bayer commercializes EYLEA outside the United States. In the second quarter of 2016, net sales of EYLEA outside of the United States(1) were$486 million, compared to $338 million in the second quarter of 2015. In the second quarter of 2016, Regeneron recognized $167 million from its share of net profit from EYLEA sales outside the United States, compared to $107 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Praluent® (alirocumab) Injection for the Treatment of Elevated Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol

  • In the second quarter of 2016, global net sales of Praluent were $24 million. Product sales for Praluent are recorded by Sanofi, and the Company shares in any profits or losses from the commercialization of Praluent. Praluent was launched in the United States in the third quarter of 2015 and in certain countries in the European Union commencing in the fourth quarter of 2015.
  • In the second quarter of 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted for review a supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for a monthly dosing regimen of Praluent, with a target action date of January 24, 2017.
  • In July 2016, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare granted marketing and manufacturing authorization for Praluent for the treatment of uncontrolled LDL cholesterol, in certain adult patients with hypercholesterolemia at high cardiovascular risk.
  • The ODYSSEY OUTCOMES trial remains ongoing, and is assessing the potential of Praluent to demonstrate cardiovascular benefit.

Pipeline Progress
Regeneron has fifteen product candidates in clinical development.  These consist of EYLEA and fourteen fully human monoclonal antibodies generated using the Company’s VelocImmune® technology, including four in collaboration with Sanofi.  In addition to EYLEA and Praluent, highlights from the antibody pipeline include:

Sarilumab, the Company’s antibody targeting IL-6R for rheumatoid arthritis, is currently being studied in the global Phase 3 SARIL-RA program.

  • In December 2015, the FDA accepted for review a Biologics License Application (BLA) for sarilumab, with a target action date of October 30, 2016.
  • In July 2016, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) accepted for review the Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) for sarilumab.

Dupilumab, the Company’s antibody that blocks signaling of IL-4 and IL-13, is currently being studied in atopic dermatitis, asthma, nasal polyps, and eosinophilic esophagitis.

  • A BLA for atopic dermatitis was recently submitted to the FDA.
  • In April 2016, the Company and Sanofi reported that the Phase 3 LIBERTY AD SOLO 1 and SOLO 2 trials evaluating dupilumab in adult patients with inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis met their primary endpoints.
  • In June 2016, the Company and Sanofi reported that the Phase 3 LIBERTY AD CHRONOS trial evaluating dupilumab with topical corticosteroids in adult patients with inadequately controlled moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis met its primary and key secondary endpoints.

Fasinumab, the Company’s antibody targeting Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), is currently being studied in patients with pain due to osteoarthritis (Phase 3) and chronic low back pain (Phase 2b/3).

  • In May 2016, the Company reported top-line results from a Phase 2/3 study evaluating fasinumab in patients with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis pain of the hip or knee who have a history of inadequate pain relief or intolerance to current analgesic therapies. The study met its primary endpoint at 16 weeks.

REGN2810, an antibody to programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), entered a potentially pivotal clinical study for the treatment of advanced cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in the second quarter of 2016.

Evinacumab is an antibody to Angptl-3.  In May 2016, the Company reported positive interim results from an ongoing proof-of-concept study in patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH).

REGN3470-3471-3479 is a combination of antibodies to Ebola virus.  A Phase 1 clinical study in healthy volunteers was initiated in the second quarter of 2016.  In addition, in the second quarter of 2016, the FDA granted orphan-drug designation to REGN3470-3471-3479 for the treatment of Ebola virus infection.

REGN2477 is an antibody to Activin A being developed for Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP).  A Phase 1 clinical study was initiated in the second quarter of 2016 in healthy volunteers.

Business Development Update

  • In April 2016, the Company and Intellia Therapeutics, Inc. entered into a license and collaboration agreement to advance CRISPR/Cas gene-editing technology for in vivo therapeutic development. In addition to the discovery, development and commercialization of new therapies, the companies will focus on technology development of the CRISPR/Cas platform. In May 2016, Intellia completed an initial public offering of its common stock and the Company purchased $50.0 million of Intellia common stock in a concurrent private placement.
  • In July 2016, the Company and Adicet Bio, Inc. entered into a license and collaboration agreement to develop next-generation engineered immune-cell therapeutics with fully human chimeric antigen receptors and T-cell receptors directed to disease-specific cell surface antigens in order to enable the precise engagement and killing of tumor cells.

Second Quarter 2016 Financial Results

Product Revenues: Net product sales were $834 million in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $658 million in the second quarter of 2015.  EYLEA net product sales in the United States were $831 million in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $655 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Total Revenues: Total revenues, which include product revenues described above, increased by 21% to $1,213 million in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $999 million in the second quarter of 2015.  Total revenues also include Sanofi and Bayer collaboration revenues of $355 million in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $329 million in the second quarter of 2015.  Collaboration revenues in the second quarter of 2016 increased primarily due to an increase in the Company’s net profit from commercialization of EYLEA outside the United States and reimbursement of the Company’s research and development expenses and amortization of up-front payments received in connection with the Company’s July 2015 immuno-oncology collaboration with Sanofi, partly offset by lower reimbursement of the Company’s research and development expenses and an increase in the Company’s share of losses primarily from the commercialization of Praluent under the Company’s antibody collaboration with Sanofi.

Refer to Table 4 for a summary of collaboration revenue.

Research and Development (R&D) Expenses: GAAP R&D expenses were $560 million in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $390 million in the second quarter of 2015.  The higher R&D expenses in the second quarter of 2016 were principally due to the $75 million up-front payment made in connection with the April 2016 license and collaboration agreement with Intellia, higher development costs primarily related to fasinumab and REGN2810, and higher headcount to support the Company’s increased R&D activities, partly offset by lower development costs primarily related to dupilumab.  In addition, in the second quarter of 2016, R&D-related non-cash share-based compensation expense was $79 million, compared to $60 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Selling, General, and Administrative (SG&A) Expenses: GAAP SG&A expenses were $292 million in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $175 million in the second quarter of 2015.  The increase was primarily due to higher commercialization-related expenses in connection with EYLEA and Praluent, and higher headcount.  In addition, in the second quarter of 2016, SG&A-related non-cash share-based compensation expense was $48 million, compared to $32 million in the second quarter of 2015.

Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): GAAP COGS was $41 million in the second quarter of 2016, compared to $61 million in the second quarter of 2015.  COGS primarily consists of royalties as well as costs in connection with producing U.S. EYLEA commercial supplies, and various start-up costs in connection with the Company’s Limerick, Ireland commercial manufacturing facility.  COGS decreased principally due to a decrease in royalties since the Company’s obligation to pay Genentech based on sales of EYLEA ended in May 2016.

Income Tax Expense: In the second quarter of 2016, GAAP income tax expense was $96 million and the effective tax rate was 32.9%, compared to $133 million and 40.7% in the second quarter of 2015.  The effective tax rate for the second quarter of 2016 was positively impacted, compared to the U.S.federal statutory rate, by the tax benefit associated with stock-based compensation, the domestic manufacturing deduction, and the federal tax credit for increased research activities, partly offset by the negative impact of losses incurred in foreign jurisdictions with rates lower than the federal statutory rate and the non-tax deductible Branded Prescription Drug Fee.  As described in Table 3 of this press release, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update 2016-09 (ASU 2016-09), Compensation – Stock Compensation, Improvements to Employee Share-Based Payment Accounting, during the second quarter of 2016.  ASU 2016-09 requires companies to recognize all excess tax benefits and tax deficiencies in connection with stock-based compensation as income tax expense or benefit in the income statement (previously, excess tax benefits were recognized in additional paid-in capital on the balance sheet).

GAAP and Non-GAAP Net Income: The Company reported GAAP net income of $196 million, or $1.88 per basic share and $1.69 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016, compared to GAAP net income of $195 million, or $1.89 per basic share and $1.69 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015.

The Company reported non-GAAP net income of $329 million, or $3.15 per basic share and $2.82 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2016, compared to non-GAAP net income of $265 million, or $2.58 per basic share and $2.27 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015.

A reconciliation of the Company’s GAAP to non-GAAP results is included in Table 3 of this press release.

2016 Financial Guidance(3)

The Company’s updated full year 2016 financial guidance consists of the following components:

EYLEA U.S. net product sales

20% – 25% growth over 2015 (reaffirmed)

Sanofi reimbursement of Regeneron commercialization-related expenses

$310 million – $340 million

(previously $320 million – $370 million)

Non-GAAP unreimbursed R&D(2) (4)

$970 million – $1.01 billion

(previously $875 million – $950 million)

Non-GAAP SG&A(2) (4)

$980 million – $1.02 billion

(previously $925 million – $1.0 billion)

Effective tax rate

33% – 41%

Capital expenditures

$480 million – $530 million

(previously $550 million – $625 million) (Original Source)

Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals closed yesterday at $441.37, up $6.47 or 1.49%. REGN has a 1-year high of $593.66 and a 1-year low of $329.09. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $376.27 and its 200-day moving average is $390.25.

On the ratings front, Regeneron has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 28, Jefferies Co. analyst Biren Amin reiterated a Hold rating on REGN, with a price target of $433, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels. Separately, on July 21, Credit Suisse’s Alethia Young reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $481.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Biren Amin and Alethia Young have a total average return of 8.1% and -1.6% respectively. Amin has a success rate of 54.9% and is ranked #381 out of 4085 analysts, while Young has a success rate of 53.9% and is ranked #3197.

Overall, one research analyst has rated the stock with a Sell rating, 8 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 7 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $468.80 which is 6.2% above where the stock closed yesterday.

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. Its products include EYLEA (aflibercept) injection, which is used for the treatment of neovascular age related macular degeneration; ARCALYST (rilonacept), which is used for the treatment of Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndrome, including Familial Cold Auto-inflammatory Syndrome and Muckle-Wells Syndrome; and PRALUENT (alirocumab) Injection for treatment of adults with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia or clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, who require additional lowering of LDL- C. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was founded by Alferd G. Gilman, Leonard S.