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Fly News Breaks for February 14, 2020
Feb 14, 2020 | 06:22 EDT
Citi analyst Mohit Bansal says Vertex Pharmaceuticals continues to be his top pick in large-cap biotech. Vertex could be the next entry in the $100B market cap club, Bansal tells investors in a research note. He highlights the company's strong base-business growth, long patent life and pipeline catalyst with AAT in the second half of 2020. Bansal favors names with near-term pipeline catalysts over valuation and sees Amgen (AMGN) and Regeneron (REGN) as the next tier names in rankings. Overall, he thinks the sector is "under-owned."
News For VRTX;AMGN;REGN From the Last 2 Days
Feb 28, 2021 | 16:09 EST
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals announced detailed results from a Phase 2 proof-of-concept trial evaluating the investigational antibody cocktail REGN1908-1909 in cat-allergic patients with mild asthma. The trial met the primary endpoint of preventing early asthma reactions. The trial also met key secondary endpoints, including improved lung function and an increased amount of cat allergen that patients could tolerate following a single dose of treatment, from as early as the first assessment conducted at week 1. The results were shared in an oral presentation at the virtual 2021 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual Meeting. Cat allergy is primarily caused by exposure to Fel d 1, the major allergen in cat dander produced by all cats. Fel d 1 is spread to surrounding environments through airborne particles that adhere to clothing, carpets and furniture. Patients typically experience rapid onset of mild to severe symptoms including nasal congestion, itchy and watery eyes, chest tightening and wheezing. Currently, cat-induced allergic rhinitis is treated with antihistamines and intranasal corticosteroids with moderate efficacy. Allergen-specific immunotherapy takes 12-24 months to see clinical benefit and is contraindicated for patients with severe or uncontrolled asthma. Importantly, the association between cat allergy and asthma is significant, as more than 50% of cat-allergic patients have co-existing asthma. Although rare, cat allergy in these patients can potentially trigger life-threatening asthma attacks leading to hospitalization. REGN1908-1909 is a novel cocktail of two fully-human monoclonal IgG antibodies, designed to specifically bind and block the Fel d 1 allergen, thus preventing it from binding and triggering the endogenous antibodies that cause allergies. REGN1908-1909 was invented using Regeneron's proprietary VelocImmune technology. The Phase 2 randomized, double-blind proof-of-concept trial enrolled 56 cat-allergic patients with mild asthma who received a single dose of REGN1908-1909 600 mg or placebo delivered subcutaneously. This was followed by a 12-week assessment period during which patients underwent a 4-hour Cat Allergen Challenge at weeks 1, 4, 8 and 12 in an environmental exposure unit where they were exposed to cat allergen and monitored for allergic reactions. In order to establish a baseline, patients were also exposed to the EEU 1 week prior to receiving either REGN1908-1909 or placebo. Patients who took REGN1908-1909 experienced significant improvements during the Cat Allergen Challenge compared to those on placebo, which included: Reduced time to EAR for up to 3 months, improved ability to breathe, and improved cat allergen tolerance. Adverse events occurred in 76% of patients who received REGN1908-1909 and 78% of patients who received placebo. AEs more commonly observed with those receiving REGN1908-1909 included injection site reactions. The use of REGN1908-1909 to treat cat-allergic patients with mild asthma is investigational and its efficacy and safety have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority.