History

On this page, we've listed key steps on the journey that has led Regeneron to where the company is today. Additionally, for certain events we have recorded comments from Regeneron leaders to give more insight into our history. Each month we will post one of these audio files until all are accessible here. If you'd like to stay current with this page, send a message to Corporate Communications using the Contact Us form, and we will notify you when a new audio file has been posted.

1988

Regeneron is founded in New York City

Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., a young neurologist and assistant professor at Cornell University Medical College, establishes the company based on the principle that dedication to strong science would lead to important new medicines. His two co-founders are nationally-known scientists Drs. Alfred Gilman, Len's Ph.D. thesis advisor at the University of Virginia, and Dr. Eric Shooter. Drs. Gilman and Shooter recruit other leading scientists to join the company’s scientific advisory board to help guide the young company. Two of those scientists, Dr. Joseph Goldstein and Dr. Michael Brown, shared a Nobel Prize in 1985, and Dr. Gilman would go on to win a Nobel in 1994. The company is named Regeneron because of the intention to focus on the use of gene technology to regenerate neurons. The first $1 million is raised from Merrill Lynch Venture Capital, Inc.

1989

George Yancopoulos joins Company as it opens labs in Tarrytown, NY; Company signs first corporate collaboration

George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., a highly regarded young molecular immunologist at Columbia University, joins Len as they open the laboratory in about 10,000 sq. ft. of space in Westchester County. Regeneron begins research on neurotrophic factors (proteins that promote nerve growth) that may be relevant to diseases of the brain and central nervous system. Shortly thereafter, Regeneron pens its first collaboration, with Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical.

1990

Regeneron publishes first paper in Science, on cloning a novel neurotrophic factor, which becomes the most highly cited neurobiology paper of the year

The Company quickly established itself as one of the top research groups in the industry, as Yancopoulos and his team publish a featured article in Science magazine on the cloning of a novel neurotrophic factor (Maisonpierre et al., 1990).

Company collaborates with Amgen to develop neurotrophic factors brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) & neurotrophin-3 (NT-3)

Regeneron launches an “Orphan Receptor” Program, which lays foundation for future Traps and Growth Factor efforts

Efforts begin with cloning of receptors for neurotrophic factors (e.g. Davis et al., 1991; Squinto et al., 1991; Glass et al., 1992) and lead to examples in which orphan receptors are used to identify their unknown growth factor partners (Davis et al., 1994; Stitt et al., 1995; Davis et al., 1996; Glass et al., 1996; Maisonpierre et al., 1997; Shrivastava et al., 1997; Valenzuela et al., 1999). Neil Stahl, Aris Economides, Yancopoulos and their colleagues take the lessons they learn from these efforts to begin to devise the Traps approach that leads to the IL-1 Trap and the VEGF Trap.

1991

Regeneron goes public on the Nasdaq Stock Market

On the heels of the Amgen collaboration and riding a wave of interest in biotechnology companies, Regeneron stock begins trading under the symbol REGN. The IPO raises $91.6 million for Regeneron.

1992

First Regeneron investigational drug, ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), begins clinical development in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease

1993

Company acquires a manufacturing facility in Rensselaer, NY; second neurotrophic factor enters clinical development

Believing in the importance of developing in-house manufacturing capabilities, Regeneron acquires a facility near Albany, NY from a pharmaceutical company and retrofits it to make drug material for clinical trials.

1995

P. Roy Vagelos, M.D., becomes Chairman of the Board

After the renowned Chairman and CEO of Merck & Co. retires, Len recruits him to be the chairman of the Regeneron board, a position Dr. Vagelos has held since that time. Dr. Vagelos, who previously had been the head of Merck's R&D, encouraged Regeneron to focus its research on disease settings where clinical benefit could be evaluated more quickly.

1996

Company enters into a collaboration with Procter & Gamble, during which VEGF Trap efforts are initiated

1997

Phase 3 trial in ALS with neurotrophic factor

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) does not achieve its primary endpoint; 2nd collaboration signed with Procter & Gamble

1999

AXOKINE (CNTF) neurotrophic factor starts clinical development for treatment of obesity

2000

ARCALYST® (rilonacept) (IL-1 Trap) begins clinical development

2001

VEGF Trap begins clinical development in oncology

2003

AXOKINE Phase 3 trial does not achieve its primary endpoint

Regeneron publishes the first paper on VelociGene®, introducing the world to its Veloci technologies

To watch a video on Veloci technologies, click here.

The Company begins to lay groundwork for major changes in its technology foundation, as Yancopoulos, David Valenzuela and their team publish a featured article in Nature Biotechnology magazine (Valenzuela et al., 1990) on a new approach to high-throughput and mega-sized genetic engineering of the mouse genome. This so-called “VelociGene® ” technology is used to make the “VelocImmune® ” mouse, which is a mouse with a genetically humanized immune system that greatly improves the process of making fully human monoclonal antibodies

Regeneron initiates a collaboration with Aventis (which the following year merges with Sanofi-Synthélabo to form sanofi-aventis) to develop and commercialize VEGF Trap


2004

VEGF Trap-Eye begins clinical development for neovascular wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).

2006

Collaboration begins with Bayer Healthcare to develop and commercialize VEGF Trap-Eye outside the U.S.

First Regeneron fully-human antibody, targeting IL-6R, enters clinical development in inflammatory disease

2007

Regeneron enters collaboration with sanofi-aventis to discover, develop, and commercialize fully human antibodies using the Regeneron VelocImmune® technology platform

2008

FDA approves ARCALYST® (rilonacept) for the treatment of a rare genetic disease

2009

Antibody collaboration with sanofi-aventis is expanded and extended; 1,000th employee hired; company moves into new buildings on its Tarrytown campus.

2010

Regeneron hires several hundred more employees, primarily to support the expanded antibody collaboration with Sanofi; positive Phase 3 clinical results are announced for VEGF Trap-Eye in wet AMD; 8th antibody enters clinical development.

2011

Regeneron files for regulatory approval of EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection in February, receives FDA approval in November, and immediately makes the drug available in the U.S.

Regeneron also announces positive Phase 3 results for EYLEA and ARCALYST in second indications and for ZALTRAP® (ziv-aflibercept) Injection for Intravenous Infusion. Regulatory application for ZALTRAP is submitted to the EMA.

The IL-6R antibody, now called sarilumab, enters Phase 3 development, and positive Phase 2 data are announced for the REGN727 (PCSK9) program. By year end, Regeneron employs approximately 1,700 full time employees.

2012

Net sales of EYLEA are $124 million in the first quarter, $194 million in the second quarter, and $224 million in the third quarter of 2012.

Phase 2 data for REGN727, a potentially first-in-class antibody to PCSK9, a novel target for LDL cholesterol reduction, are published in leading journals, and the REGN727 program enters Phase 3 development.

The FDA issues a Complete Response Letter on the Company's application to market ARCALYST® (rilonacept) Injection for the prevention of gout flares in patients initiating uric acid-lowering therapy.

Regeneron and Sanofi announce FDA approval of ZALTRAP in August.

FDA approves EYLEA in a 2nd indication, Macular Edema Following Central Retinal Vein Occlusion.

ZALTRAP receives positive CHMP opinion for approval in the EU.

EYLEA is approved in the European Union and other countries.

Regeneron is voted the world's #1 biopharmaceutical employer in Science Magazine survey and Biotech Company of the Year by Scrip Intelligence.

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