Analysts are weighing in today on healthcare giants Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV). The analysts reflect on the ongoing patent trial between Gilead and Idenix, and AbbVie’s two lead hematologic oncology assets, Imbruvica and Venclexta. Let’s take a closer look:
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Jefferies analyst Brian Abrahams provided his commentary on the Idenix v. Gilead patent trial that is ongoing over the next two weeks. Overall, Abrahams believes that GILD’s previous successes against both Merck and Idenix make him view GILD’s arguments in this case favorably.
Idenix alleges that Gilead’s infringement of one their ‘597 patents entitles them to $2.5 billion in past damages, though GILD argues this patent is invalid, and a jury trial is scheduled from 12/5-12/16 to determine its validity.
Abrahams noted, “GILD has a number of strong allegations in this case, and its previous success in the prior patent interferences suggest the outcome is unlikely to be different here — though jury trials are difficult to predict, especially given high burden of proof on GILD.”
“GILD cites that MRK’s own work in 1998 (prior to IDIX’s priority date) predates IDIX’s, and thus qualifies as anticipatory invalidating prior art. IDIX could overcome this by showing it was diligent prior to this date, but based on IDIX’s rigorous opposition of this argument and attempts to exclude it from trial (which were nearly successful, due to GILD’s belated assertion of them), we believe this may be difficult,” the analyst added.
Subsequently, Abrahams reiterates a Buy rating on shares of Gilead, with a price target of $91, which implies an upside of 25% from current levels.
According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Brian Abrahams has a yearly average return of 0.0% and a 43% success rate. Abrahams has a 8.8% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #2811 out of 4262 analysts.
Out of the 16 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 12 rate Gilead stock a Buy, while 4 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 35%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $98.31.
William Blair analyst Y Katherine Xu reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of AbbVie, with a price target of $76, after reviewing the data presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting, which “further strengthens the positioning of AbbVie’s two lead hematologic oncology assets, Imbruvica and Venclexta,” according to the analyst.
Xu noted, “We currently model Imbruvica and Venclexta peak worldwide sales at $9.7 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively, and believe the competitive landscape formed by the data revealed to date continue to support our assumptions. Key takeaways include: 1) Imbruvica’s frontline status in CLL is entrenched; 2) Imbruvica and combinations demonstrate encouraging data in major subtypes of NHL, including diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and follicular lymphoma (FL); 3) Venclexta demonstrates early data in r/r CLL, potentially positioned as a second-line agent to Imbruvica in CLL and branching into other indications such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and multiple myeloma (MM); and 4) competitors in the BTK class, including acalabrutinib (AstraZeneca) and BGB-3111 (BeiGene), are not yet threatening to ibrutinib, in our view, and data from pivotal head-to-head studies against Imbruvica will be revealing on both efficacy and safety over the next few years.”
As usual, we recommend taking analyst notes with a grain of salt. According to TipRanks.com, analyst Y Katherine Xu has a yearly average return of -1.4% and a 42% success rate. Xu has a 19.2% average return when recommending ABBV, and is ranked #3183 out of 4262 analysts.
Out of the 11 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the last 3 months), 5 are bullish on AbbVie stock, while 6 remain sidelined.With a return potential of 19%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $73.44.