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UPDATE 1-Regeneron profit blows past estimates

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Aug 3 (Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc reported a quarterly profit on Thursday that handsomely beat estimates, helped by higher demand for its flagship eye treatment Eylea.

Sales of the drug, used to treat macular degeneration and other eye disorders, rose 11 percent to $919 million in the United States.

Shares of the Tarrytown, New York-based company were up 4.2 percent at $497 in light premarket trading.

The company's second-quarter results also benefited revenue earned from collaborations with partners Sanofi SA and Bayer AG.

Collaboration revenue rose to $432.5 million from $355.3 million, while total revenue rose to $1.47 billion from $1.21 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting total revenue of $1.35 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Regeneron is betting on its recently approved eczema treatment Dupixent and rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara to reduce its reliance on Eylea.

The company said net income rose to $387.7 million, or $3.34 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $196.22 million, or $1.69 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Regeneron earned $4.17 per share, beating analysts' expectations by $1.00.

Regeneron said it expects U.S. Eylea sales to grow 10 percent over 2016. It had previously estimated sales to increase by a single-digit percentage range.

The drug raked in $3.32 billion in the United States last year.

The company also slashed expected full-year tax rate to a range of 27 percent to 31 percent from its previous estimate of 32 percent to 38 percent. (Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)