Feb 3 (Reuters) - Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN.O) reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit on Friday, as strong demand for eczema drug Dupixent helped shield a drop in U.S. sales of its blockbuster eye drug, Eylea.
Eylea, which recorded total sales of $9.65 billion in 2022, has been a key growth driver for the company ever since its launch more than a decade ago. But analysts have flagged competition from Roche's (ROG.S) Vabysmo, which was approved last year.
Sales of Eylea, used to treat vision loss causing age-related macular degeneration, were impacted by temporary closing of a fund during the quarter that provides co-pay assistance to patients. U.S. sales of the drug were down 3.3% to $1.50 billion in the fourth quarter.
However, the company last month said that patients, who had switched to a less expensive alternative, were already beginning to use Eylea again.
Quarterly sales of the company's Dupixent, recorded by its partner Sanofi (SASY.PA), rose 38% to $2.45 billion, with Regeneron's collaboration revenue from the French company jumping about 61% to $836 million.
Dupixent is an anti-inflammatory drug, which was approved in 2017, and has also been a booster for Regeneron with the treatment currently approved for five indications, including asthma and atopic dermatitis, or eczema.
Excluding items, the company reported a profit of $12.56 per share for the quarter ended Dec. 31, above analysts' estimates of $10.03, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
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