Regeneron to Begin Human Studies of Covid-19 Treatment in June

Regeneron is prepping to begin human studies of its novel antibody 'cocktail' treatment for Covid-19 beginning next month.
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Pharmaceutical giant Regeneron  (REGN) - Get Report is  prepping to begin Phase 3 human studies of its REGN-COV2 antibody "cocktail" treatment for the Covid-19 virus as soon as next month.

Alongside its quarterly earnings release, Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Regeneron on Tuesday said it was planning to begin testing the cocktail on humans in June, and also is working to scale up manufacturing of the treatment, according to CEO Leonard Schleifer.

“Our novel antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, which is specifically-designed for both prevention and treatment, is expected to begin human studies in June and we are working in parallel to have large-scale quantities available by late summer," Schleifer said.

The announcement came alongside Regeneron’s first-quarter earnings report, in which the company said net income rose to $624.6 million, or $5.43 a share, from $461.1 million, or $3.99 a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings were $6.60 a share, above the FactSet consensus estimates of $6.06.

Revenue rose 33% to $1.83 billion, also above analysts’ forecasts of $1.76 billion, led in large part by global sales of its Dupixent cancer treatment, which jumped 129% to $855 million.

The biotechnology company expects to spend a net $2.15 billion to $2.31 billion on research and development in 2020, though it also said it will be seeking regulatory approval for its non-small-cell lung cancer treatment Libtayo, which has shown promising results in a Phase 3 trial.

Regeneron and drug company Sanofi in late April announced the preliminary results from the Phase 2 portion of an ongoing trial evaluating Kevzara (sarilumab), an interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor antibody that helps reduce inflammation and offset a lack of oxygen getting to the lungs, in hospitalized patients with “severe” or “critical” respiratory illness caused by Covid-19.

Shares of Regeneron rose more than 6% to $574.8 in trading Tuesday. The stock has surged more than 45% in the past three months.