Regeneron

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
TypePublic (NASDAQ:REGN)(virt-x:REGN)
Founded1988
HeadquartersTarrytown, New York, USA (Headquarters)
Key peopleLeonard Schleifer (CEO), George Yancopoulos, CSO
IndustryPharmaceuticals; Biotech
Websitehttp://www.regeneron.com

Regeneron is a biotechnology company headquartered in Tarrytown, which is in New York, USA. The company was founded in 1988. Originally focused on neurotrophic factors and their regenerative capabilities (thus the name), it branched out into the study of both cytokine and tyrosine kinase receptors - leading to the three potential products currently in clinical development: two products which are based on the "VEGF Trap", and the "IL-1 Trap."

The company is developing protein-based pharmaceuticals in the fields of cancer (oncology), inflammation (including autoimmune diseases), and opthalmology.

Products in Development

1. VEGF Trap. Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, or VEGF is a protein growth factor which is required for formation of blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis. In the adult human, angiogenesis is only consistently active in the gut - however in pathological cases such as cancer, where a solid tumor grows rapidly and therefore requires a blood supply, there is also active angiogenesis. Therefore, the blockade of VEGF is a potentially viable strategy for treating solid tumors.

Regeneron's strategy to block VEGF is to make use of the growth factor's natural receptor, the VEGF Receptor. The extra-cellular domain of the receptor is used to bind, or "trap" VEGF, and thereby keep it from binding receptors on the surface of blood vessels. This constitutes a fusion protein named aflibercept [1].

Clinical trials[2] of VEGF Trap in cancer are presented at ASCO 2007.

A distinct strategy is used by Genentech. Genentech has developed an antibody called Avastin that binds VEGF. Avastin is already approved for the treatment of colon cancer.

2. IL-1 Trap. IL-1 or Interleukin-1 is a cytokine capable of inducing inflammation. The IL-1 Trap makes use of the extracellular domains of the ligand's receptors; the trap thereby blocks IL-1 from binding and activating receptors on the surface of cells.

3. VEGF Trap - Eye. A version of the VEGF Trap formulated for delivery to the eye, for treatment of macular degeneration.

Technology Platforms

1. Velocigene - for the rapid generation of animal models of disease, such as knockout and transgenic models.

2. Velocimune - for the rapid generation of human monoclonal antibodies.

3. Traps - for the generation of receptor-based inhibitors.

References

1. External website: regeneron.com


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