Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorization for once-daily Truvada® (emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir disoproxil 245 mg; FTC/TDF) in combination with safer-sex practices to reduce the risk of sexually acquired HIV-1 infection among uninfected adults at high risk, a strategy known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP. Truvada was approved by theEuropean Medicines Agency in 2005 for use in combination with other antiretroviral agents for the treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults aged 18 years and over, and is currently the most prescribed antiretroviral medicine in Europe as part of combination therapy.
The marketing authorization allows for the marketing of Truvada for PrEP in all 28 countries of the European Union, subject to national regulatory authority approval of required pharmacovigilance materials in each country.
“In the past 30 years, we have seen significant progress in the way we treat HIV; however, infection rates have continued to rise. In 2014, we saw the highest number of newly diagnosed cases in the European Union ever recorded, with 94 percent of those with known cause transmitted through sexual contact,” said Professor Jean-Michel Molina, MD, PhD, Hôpital Saint Louis in Paris and University of Paris 7. “Truvada for PrEP provides an additional prevention tool, which when used with safer-sex practices, will help uninfected adults at high risk of HIV protect themselves against the virus.”
The marketing authorization is based on the results of two large placebo-controlled trials of Truvada, the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEX) and Partners PrEP, sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the University of Washington, respectively. In these studies, the most commonly reported side effects included headache, stomach discomfort and weight loss. The incidence and types of side effects were consistent with Truvada’s safety and tolerability profile when used as part of an HIV treatment regimen.
“The approval of Truvada for PrEP represents an important step forward in addressing the incidence of HIV in Europe” said Norbert W. Bischofberger, PhD, Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer,Gilead Sciences. “When taken as directed and used in combination with other prevention strategies, Gilead believes Truvada for PrEP can have a meaningful impact on public health by helping to reduce HIV transmission rates across Europe.”
Worldwide, clinical guidelines support the use of PrEP, in combination with other existing prevention measures such as condoms, to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV in adults at high risk of HIV infection. Truvada should not be used in individuals with unknown or positive HIV-1 status, as Truvada alone does not constitute a complete regimen for the treatment of HIV-1 and HIV-1 resistance mutations have emerged in individuals with undetected HIV-1 infection who are only taking Truvada. (Original Source)
Shares of Gilead Sciences are currently trading at $80.95, down $0.05 or 0.06%. GILD has a 1-year high of $113.31 and a 1-year low of $77.92. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $82.83 and its 200-day moving average is $87.01.
On the ratings front, Gilead has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 19, Piper Jaffray analyst Joshua Schimmer reiterated a Buy rating on GILD, with a price target of $108, which implies an upside of 33.5% from current levels. Separately, on August 11, RBC’s Michael Yee maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $105.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Joshua Schimmer and Michael Yee have a total average return of -6.2% and 0.0% respectively. Schimmer has a success rate of 38.6% and is ranked #3972 out of 4025 analysts, while Yee has a success rate of 52.9% and is ranked #2762.
Overall, 9 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 8 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $107.00 which is 32.3% above where the stock opened today.