Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) and Geisinger Health System (Geisinger) today announced that Science has published a paper describing how the DiscovEHR collaboration between the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) and Geisinger is using the combination of large-scale sequencing and de-identified electronic health records for genomic medicine implementation and precision medicine applications in genomics-guided therapeutic discovery.
The publication describes exome sequencing and analyses of the first 50,000 adult participants in the DiscovEHR study, one of the first and largest efforts of its kind. Genomic data from these patients, all members of the Geisinger MyCode Community Health Initiative, have been linked to corresponding de-identified electronic health records, enabling the discovery of clinical associations supporting new and existing therapeutic targets, including genes encoding drug targets for lipid lowering.
“In this study, we found 176,000 genetic variants predicted to result in partial or complete loss of gene function, affecting over 90 percent of the genes in the human genome. Paired with de-identified electronic health records, this provides one of the richest resources available to study the effects of gene inactivation in humans,” said Rick Dewey, M.D., Senior Director of Translational Genetics at the RGC and co-author of the paper. “Integrating genetic research to increase the efficiency and speed of drug development is the primary goal of the RGC and supports Regeneron’s long-time mission of using the power of science to bring new medicines to patients, over and over again.”
In the DiscovEHR study, approximately 3.5 percent of individuals were found to have known or predicted deleterious genetic variants in one of 76 clinically actionable genes (56 as defined by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics plus an additional 20 recommended by Geisinger). While the data are completely de-identified to Regeneron, clinicians at Geisinger have begun returning this information to eligible patients as part of their clinical care, with nearly 200 patients already informed they carry one or more disease-causing genetic mutations with consequences that can be treated. These mutations are mainly related to cancer risk and cardiovascular illness.
“This is an important step forward for precision medicine,” said David J. Carey, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Molecular and Functional Genomics at Geisinger and co-author of the paper. “In addition to contributing to longer-term research that leads to new treatments, Geisinger aims to be on the forefront of integrating genetic data into patient care. Through this collaboration, individuals participating in the Geisinger MyCode Community Health Initiative may benefit in the near-term by receiving information about their personal health.”
Another RGC-Geisinger Science publication in the December 23 issue provides a case study for how genomic medicine can be implemented in clinical care by qualified healthcare providers such as Geisinger. By the processes described above, for example, the collaborators assessed the prevalence and clinical impact of genomic variants associated with Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), a genetic disease that remains underdiagnosed despite widespread cholesterol screening. (Original Source)
Shares of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals are currently trading at $371.39, up $6.33 or +1.73%. REGN has a 1-year high of $553.75 and a 1-year low of $325.35. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $385.11 and its 200-day moving average is $387.48.
On the ratings front, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 20, BMO analyst Matthew Luchini initiated coverage with a Hold rating on REGN and a price target of $419, which represents a potential upside of 15% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on the same day, Credit Suisse’s Alethia Young upgraded the stock to Buy and has a price target of $485.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Matthew Luchini and Alethia Young have a yearly average loss of -0.3% and -6.6% respectively. Luchini has a success rate of 30% and is ranked #2846 out of 4289 analysts, while Young has a success rate of 32% and is ranked #4075.
Overall, 10 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 8 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 $457.75 which is 25.1% above where the stock opened today.
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.