Regeneron posts strong 3Q results on new approvals

TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Wednesday reported third-quarter results that far exceeded Wall Street expectations as it won key new approvals for its eye drug Eylea and cancer drug Zaltrap.

The company said U.S. sales of Eylea, which was approved in November, rose to $244 million. During the quarter Regeneron received approval to market Eylea in Japan, the world's second-largest pharmaceutical market while U.S. regulators broadened its approval. Regulators also cleared its drug Zaltrap as a secondary treatment for colorectal cancer. The new approvals triggered payments to Regeneron from its partners. The company also raised its full-year sales estimates for Eylea.

In 2011 the Food and Drug Administration approved Eylea as a treatment for "wet" age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly. In late September the FDA approved it as a treatment for another eye condition called central retinal vein occlusion. Regeneron received $15 million from its partner Bayer after Japanese regulators approved the drug, and Regeneron said Eylea should go on sale in Europe, Japan, and Australia before the end of 2012.

The company now expects $790 million to $815 million in U.S. Eylea revenue in 2012, up from a range of $700 million to $750 million.

Zaltrap posted sales of $8 million after its approval in August, and French drugmaker Sanofi paid Regeneron $50 million. The companies have approval to market Zaltrap as a treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer that has not responded to previous treatment or progressed despite treatment.

Regeneron said its net income totaled $191.5 million, or $1.72 per share. A year ago Regeneron took a loss of $62.4 million, or 68 cents per share. If one-time costs are excluded Regeneron said it earned $1.89 per share in the latest quarter. Revenue climbed to $427.7 million from $102.8 million.

Analysts expected the company to report net income of 96 cents per share and revenue of $350.1 million, according to FactSet.

Shares of Regeneron rose $5.82, or 3.8 percent, to $158.81 in morning trading.