Regeneron quarterly profit drops as COVID antibody sales hit

A vial of Regeneron monoclonal antibody sits on a medical table as registered nurse Jessica Krumwiede attempts to find a vein to administer it to Cathy Hardin, who was vaccinated prior to testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Sarasota Memorial Urgent Care Center in Sarasota, Florida, U.S., September 23, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

(Reuters) -Regeneron Pharmaceuticals reported a 13% fall in first-quarter profit on Wednesday, as sales of its COVID-19 antibody cocktail were hit by the U.S. health regulator’s decision to limit its use.

The company recorded no sales from the pill in the United States for the quarter, as was expected. Regeneron warned about it in February after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended its authorization on the drug due to its lack of effectiveness against the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Regeneron is now conducting trials on experimental “next generation” antibodies that are tailored against variants including those of Omicron-lineage.

The drugmaker’s net profit in the first quarter ended March 31 fell to $974 million, or $8.61 per share, from $1.12 billion, or $10.09 per share, a year earlier.

Its blockbuster eye treatment Eylea and eczema therapy Dupixent, however, performed well, recording sales growth of 11% and 43%, respectively.

Gradual easing of lockdowns amid increasing vaccinations has boded well for physician-administered eye treatment Eylea over the last few quarters.

Sales of Dupixent also helped Regeneron’s overall sales grow 17% to $2.97 billion.

Regeneron’s French partner Sanofi, which records the sales from Dupixent, in late March raised its peak sales target for Dupixent to more than 13 billion euros ($14.3 billion).

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