Sanofi and Regeneron hit goals in RA drug study

Regeneron appears to be on a roll. Just weeks after an FDA panel backed its eye drug for approval, the company ($REGN) and French drug giant Sanofi ($SNY) have shown that an experimental antibody drug has significantly improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

The companies' Phase IIb "MOBILITY" trial showed that the drug, sarilumab, in combination with a standard RA treatment, methotrexate, made a "significant and clinically meaningful improvement" in RA patients' symptoms compared with those who in the study treated with methotrexate alone. And RA symptom improvements were the greatest in patients treated with the highest dose of the sarilumab in the 306-patient study. Yet the drug fell short in a Phase IIb study for a separate inflammatory disease, ankylosing spondylitis.

"Following these encouraging Phase IIb results in rheumatoid arthritis, the companies are currently discussing the dose(s) of sarilumab to advance into the Phase III portion of the MOBILITY trial," Elias Zerhouni, Sanofi's global head of R&D, said.

Still, Regeneron investors are likely most enthusiastic about the Tarrytown, NY-based company because of its solid chances of gaining FDA approval later this summer for its eye drug called VEGF Trap-Eye. The FDA action date on the company's application for approval of the experimental treatment is Aug. 20.

- here's Regeneron's release
- see the report in RTTNews