Biopharma name Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) rallied 11.2% in June, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. A series of encouraging drug-development updates kept the recovery rally going.
A multi-month pullback from Regeneron that finally ended in May was put further into the rearview mirror last month. All told, from March’s low to Wednesday’s close — the best close since November of last year when the stock was losing ground — the stock’s up an incredible 31%.
Several headlines spurred the advance, starting with the early June news that the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) had approved a lower dosage of the company’s REGEN-COV (casirivimab and imdevimab) as a treatment for COVID-19. This decision introduced the potential for wider usage of the therapy. Just a few days later that door was opened even further when it was revealed that REGEN-COV improves the survival rate of COVID-19 in individuals that may not produce their own immune response.
Perhaps the heaviest-hitting catalysts, however, came late in the month when Libtayo was approved in Europe as a first-line treatment for certain advanced basal cell carcinoma patients as well as certain non-small cell lung cancer patients, followed by the announcement that its genome-editing collaboration with Intellia Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NTLA) was already showing encouraging results in phase 1 trials. In the simplest terms, the testing of the companies’ in vivo CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene-repair technology is producing an 87% reduction in misfolded transthyretin protein typically found in patients suffering from the liver disease known as transthyretin (ATTR) amyloidosis.
Since then, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has identified gene mutations that help prevent obesity. This knowledge has not yet been turned into a drug-development program, but the prospect is on the table.
All of these developments and advances have the potential to add revenue, if not directly, at least indirectly.
While the prospect of more COVID-related revenue is the more timely headline, it’s also not a reason to step into a new position in Regeneron. Although not a polished or consistent effort, the pandemic is (mostly) being abated.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ progress on the CRISPR front, however, is a significant step not just for certain liver ailments, but for all sorts of illnesses. As Intellia CEO John Leonard noted of the news, “These are the first-ever clinical data suggesting that we can precisely edit target cells within the body to treat genetic disease within a single intravenous infusion of CRISPR.”
Shares of this biotech name are technically overextended and ripe for some profit-taking here. Already priced below last July’s coronavirus-prompted peak though, any decent pullback is an entry opportunity … even without yet knowing exactly how big the CRISPR-based approach to medicine could become.
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