Investors have given coronavirus vaccine stocks a lot of attention. But treatment makers, such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN), also make promising investments. In this Motley Fool Live video recorded on June 22, healthcare and cannabis bureau editor and analyst Olivia Zitkus and Fool.com contributor Adria Cimino discuss recent news from Regeneron that could equal more orders for the company’s COVID-19 treatment — and its stock performance down the road.
Olivia Zitkus: Let’s talk about Regeneron for a couple of minutes. It probably sounds familiar to some Fools because it’s earned an EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) for its antibody cocktail last year. That EUA has been reaffirmed a few times since. But a recent FDA announcement also authorized a different type of administration, I guess you could say, of the cocktail. Can you explain those changes and how they decided to expand the authorization?
Adria Cimino: Sure. Well, this is really good news for Regeneron. These are really two key things. There is a lower dose and an injection versus infusion. First of all, we’ll talk about the lower dose. Lower dose eventually, of course, will mean cost savings because for each antibody treatment, there’s not as much material, so that’s definitely a positive. It also is a gain in manufacturing because it means that you can make more with less. It’s really going to help them to manufacture more doses. That’s a definite positive. As far as the injection versus infusion, infusion has been something that’s actually held people back from getting the antibody treatment. It’s been on the healthcare setting side and on the patient side. The healthcare settings have shied away because they’ve been so busy with COVID patients that the idea of having to set up infusion centers and staff them, sometimes they’re just not able to. It’s really yet another thing that they have to do when they’re really strapped. That makes it difficult. Whereas now an injection, it’s much quicker. It’s a totally different ballgame. From a patient point of view, some people have also said: “Well, gee, I don’t want to go into a hospital setting and sit there for an hour for an infusion. I actually feel good. I don’t feel all that bad.” Because this is for mild to moderate cases of COVID, but for high-risk patients. Some people might say, “Well, I don’t feel that bad. I’m not going to go in and get this infusion.” Whereas if it’s just an injection, it’s easier to convince the patient. These are two definite positives for the cocktail. I would think that this should boost use because that has been one of the challenges these past few months, was getting people and hospitals to use antibody treatments in general. This extension of the EUA is something very, very positive for Regeneron.
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