Will Growing PCSK9 Competition Hinder Regeneron’s Stock?

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) has enjoyed a large, five-year 2,000 percent return, and while much is tied to its current growth, the vast majority of Regeneron’s $30 billion market cap is more-so tied to its pipeline. With that said, one of its most promising Phase 3 products might not have a first-to-market advantage thanks to Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), and this could be bad news for Regeneron’s stock.

Regeneron markets three different drugs, with the most significant being Eylea, an injectable vaccine that treats rare diseases that cause blindness. Last year, Eylea grew 68 percent year-over-year and accounted for $1.4 billion of the company’s $2.1 billion in total revenue.

In an absolute best-case scenario, including success in all ongoing trials, Eylea could generate $3.5 billion in annual sales, according to most analysts. Clearly, the success of this one drug alone is not enough to support or even validate the company’s current market capitalization of $30 billion, meaning its pipeline must be successful.

While Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company in pipeline development, one of its most exciting candidates is called REGN727, or Alirocumab, which is a Phase 3 vaccine used to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Alirocumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds a protein called PCSK9, which has been linked to lowering bad cholesterol and also preventing cardiac events.

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