Regeneron's blockbuster eye drug posts weaker sales due to inventory impact

FILE PHOTO: The Regeneron Pharmaceuticals company logo is seen on a building at the company's Westchester campus in Tarrytown, New York

(Reuters) -U.S. drugmaker Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by softer sales of its blockbuster eye drug Eylea due to reduction in wholesaler inventory.

Apart from an impact of about $40 million cut in inventory, Regeneron said changing market dynamics that resulted in lower volumes and lower selling price also hurt Eylea sales.

Total sales of the drug, jointly developed with Bayer AG, fell 2% to $1.40 billion in the January-to-March quarter, missing estimates of $1.86 billion, according to LSEG estimates.

The higher dose version of the drug, however, beat consensus estimates, according to at least three brokerages.

The higher 8 milligram dose version contributed $200 million to Eylea's total sales, compared to consensus estimates of $196 million.

Regeneron said it continues to see strong uptake of the higher dose version of Eylea.

Analysts have high hopes for the high dose. They expect the high-dose version to gain market share over the standard dose largely over the next year.

Regeneron has been looking to switch Eylea patients to the high-dose 8 milligram version as the eye drug, which has long been its cash cow, faces the threat of biosimilars and fierce competition from rivals including Roche's Vabysmo.

Regeneron's anti-inflammatory drug Dupixent brought in sales of $3.08 billion, as recorded by partner Sanofi missing analysts' estimates of $3.19 billion.

Its lone approved skin cancer drug, Libtayo, brought in sales of $264 million, which came ahead of estimates of $257.7 million.

Regeneron reported an adjusted profit of $9.55 per share for the quarter, missing analysts' estimates of $10.09. It posted total revenue of $3.15 billion, falling short of estimates of $3.22 billion.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)