Shares in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals gained 2.69% in premarket trading Thursday. The company piqued investors’ interest as it announced the start of its first clinical trials of antibody combinations for the treatment of COVID-19.
The testing of the antibody cocktail, which is known as REGN-COV2, will be carried out on four different groups of people. Regeneron will study the effects of the antibodies on hospitalized patients, non-hospitalized patients, people who are not infected but are in high-risk groups and uninfected people who are exposed to COVID-19 patients.
Since Regeneron has proven the quality of its products by developing an Ebola drug, it was no surprise that the company was also one of the challengers who work on the creations of a COVID-19 treatment. Technically speaking, Eli Lilly was the first company to launch human trials of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 but Regeneron was a close second.
The first phase of the trials will concentrate on the virologic and safety-based endpoints introduced to both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients. The second phase will include clinical trial endpoints, which will determine the effect of antibodies on patients. The first two phases will determine the size and nature of the third phase of the trials.
Half of the Regeneron program on developing a COVID-19 treatment focuses on the effects of REGN-COV2 on patients. The study will also work towards the prevention of infections with SARS-CoV-2.
Regeneron Chief Scientific Officer, George Yancopoulos, shared that antibodies could be developed earlier than a vaccine. Even if a company manages to launch a vaccine, the role of antibodies will be very important for the health of older people and patients with immunodeficiencies.
Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation
According to CNN Money, 24 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. have a median target of $617.50, with a high estimate of $734.00 and a low estimate of $400.00. The median estimate represents a -0.08% decrease from the last price of $618.00.
The same media also offers recommendations of 27 investment analysts who gave the Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. stock a consensus rating of “Buy”. Among the polled analysts, 13 ranked the stock as “Buy”, 11 as “Hold”, 1 as “Sell” and 2 – as “Outperform”.