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 develop, test and manufacture a monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of Ebola virus infection.
HHS will provide initial funding of approximately $17 million to support preclinical development and antibody manufacturing. This initial funding is designed to support an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Options in the agreement provide for an additional $21 million for a Phase 1 study in healthy volunteers, which is planned for January 2016, and further manufacturing and development studies.
Regeneron utilized its proprietary VelociGene® and VelocImmune® technologies, which enable the rapid identification and preclinical validation of fully human monoclonal antibodies, to develop a novel antibody therapy “cocktail” which includes a mixture of three antibodies. These technologies enabled the rapid identification and scale-up of the investigational antibody therapy. To date, Regeneron has conducted pre-clinical studies in animal models of Ebola virus infection. These antibodies have been discovered and developed pursuant to Regeneron’s 2009 antibody discovery and development agreement with Sanofi and are subject to Sanofi’s opt-in rights for development and commercialization.
“We’re proud to work with BARDA to apply our unique rapid response capabilities to Ebola, one of the most critical global health crises of recent times,” said Neil Stahl, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development at Regeneron. “Regeneron’s mission is to use science and technology to transform outcomes for people living with serious diseases. In the midst of an emerging outbreak, every day counts for people who are infected or at risk. Regeneron’s technologies create manufacturing-ready cell lines of validated fully human antibodies in just months, offering the distinct promise of better treatments in shorter timeframes.”
In addition to Ebola, Regeneron’s proprietary antibody rapid response platform has been used to generate antibodies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and has the potential to address other emerging infectious diseases. (Original Source)
Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals closed last Friday at $550.36. REGN has a 1-year high of $605.93 and a 1-year low of $320.06. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $545.79 and its 200-day moving average is $505.36.
On the ratings front, Regeneron has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 8, UBS analyst Matt Roden upgraded REGN to Buy, with a price target of $565, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels. Separately, on August 31, Chardan’s Gbola Amusa downgraded the stock to Hold and has a price target of $565.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Matt Roden and Gbola Amusa MD CFA have a total average return of 32.0% and 14.3% respectively. Roden has a success rate of 81.4% and is ranked #65 out of 3765 analysts, while CFA has a success rate of 60.9% and is ranked #312.
The street is mostly Bullish on REGN stock. Out of 13 analysts who cover the stock, 8 suggest a Buy rating and 5 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $632.80, which implies an upside of 15.0% from current levels.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc is a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. It discovers, invents, develops, manufactures, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions.