Piper Jaffray analyst Christopher Raymond is "incrementally positive" on Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) after the FDA approved Novartis' (NVS) Beovu for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. While the approval was anticipated and physician anticipation of the drug has been high, doctors are likely to view the drug's label "as a significant let-down," Raymond tells investors in a research note. The analyst says that with inflammation and immunogenicity rates meaningfully higher than Regeneron's Eylea, and the lack of flexibility to dose more frequently, he sees little reason for doctors to switch. And while some investors may point to price as another meaningful lever, off-label Avastin makes for an "insurmountable bar for the price-sensitive segment," says Raymond. He keeps an Overweight rating on Regeneron shares with a $435 price target. The label "renders Beovu as little more than an also-ran," contends the analyst. As such, Raymond thinks Eylea's dominance in remains intact.
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Cowen analyst Yaron Weber raised the firm's price target on Regeneron to $495 from $386 and keeps a Market Perform rating on the shares. The analyst said the fact that Beovu will not be a major challenge to Eylea, will be a tailwind for the company which will now return to growth. He said he would prefer not to chase the shares and would rather wait for a better entry point.
Citi analyst Mohit Bansal raised the firm's price target on Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to $540 from $420 and keeps a Buy rating on the shares. The Beovu safety issues could fundamentally benefit Regeneron's Eyela franchise leading to less than expected erosion in near term, Bansal tells investors in a research note. The analyst is of the view that the differences in Eylea and Beovu profiles are not very significant and that safety issues with Beovu would make doctors "take a pause, at minimum." This puts Regeneron back on the "growth path" as Eylea would probably grow now in 2020 and Dupi continues to add significantly to it, Bansal contends. As such, the analyst sees room for upside in the shares.