Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) is about to have a chance to prove that its pricey, seldom-used cardiovascular drug can actually improve patients’ lives — an outcome that would also allow it to remove the air quotes from its “blockbuster” product.
Some time this quarter, Regeneron will release clinical trial data showing whether Praluent, an injected therapy that blasts away bad cholesterol, is better than yesteryear drugs at preventing heart attack, stroke, and hospitalization. That will determine whether the company can compete with Amgen (AMGN), its bitter rival in marketplace and courtroom alike.
Regeneron’s long-term trial, appropriately called Odyssey, enrolled more than 18,000 patients with high cholesterol and followed them for a median of three years. All of them are taking as much statin therapy as they can handle, with some getting a placebo injection and the rest getting either 75mg or 150mg every two weeks.