UPDATE 2-Regeneron quarterly profit beats on strong drug sales
Adds shares, COVID-19 antibody therapy sales
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc's REGN.O quarterly profit surged past estimates on Friday, benefiting from a recovery in demand for its flagship eye drug and a jump in sales of its eczema drug, sending the drugmaker's shares up 3% before the bell.
However, Regeneron recorded tepid sales from its dual antibody cocktail, REGEN-COV, which won U.S. emergency use authorization in November for non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients at high risk of becoming severely ill.
Regeneron and rival Eli Lilly's LLY.N antibody therapies have so far seen lackluster demand as patients need to be isolated for administering the drug through one-time intravenous infusion, which adds to the challenges faced by hospitals that are already teeming with cases of coronavirus infection.
Regeneron's antibody cocktail garnered $145.5 million in sales for the fourth quarter. While, the consensus Wall Street estimate was $173 million, according to Guggenheim analyst Yatin Suneja.
Last month, the company blamed the underwhelming sales on timing, as it will be delivering additional doses of the therapy to the United States in the first quarter.
The U.S. government last month said it will buy 1.25 million additional doses of the antibody cocktail for about $2.63 billion, with the doses set to be delivered by June-end. nL4N2JN48Z
Sales of Regeneron's physician-administered macular degeneration drug, Eylea, were hurt during the height of the pandemic last year as patients were reluctant to visit doctors' offices.
As lockdowns eased, U.S. sales of the drug rose nearly 10% to $1.34 billion for the fourth quarter. nPn8r2BGpa
Sales from eczema drug Dupixent, which are recorded by Regeneron partner Sanofi SASY.PA, jumped 56% to $1.17 billion.
Excluding items, Regeneron earned $9.53 per share, beating estimates of $8.39 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)
((email@example.com; +91 8061822700;))