Leerink Swann Bullish on Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (JAZZ); Here’s Why

Leerink Swann’s healthcare analysts came out today with favorable reports on pharmaceutical giants Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (NASDAQ:JAZZ). While one analyst examines the potential impact of the upcoming EASL Conference on Gilead, the other reflects on the FDA approval of Jazz’s Defib.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Leerink Swann analyst Geoff Porges reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Gilead Sciences, with a price target of $127, ahead of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) International Liver Conference (April 13-17).

Porges said, “In anticipation of the meeting in Barcelona in two weeks, we reviewed the abstracts and discussed the community’s expectations for the meeting, with an eye on the potential impact on Gilead […] The main conclusions we draw from the abstracts (lacking information about late breakers) is that Gilead’s dominance of HCV seems secure for the immediate future, with sof/vel (sofosbuvir/velpatasvir) showing impressive efficacy in difficult-to-treat patient subsets. Competitors have early data for their new HCV development efforts but will not present new clinical data at this meeting.”

Furthermore, “Other important liver disease targets for drug developers include HBV and non-alcoholic steatohepatitus (NASH). At this stage, the preliminary data in the abstracts does not suggest that any company has a meaningful lead over others in either disease; while EASL has been a stock-moving event in the past, our first analysis of the abstracts at least suggests that such moves are likely to be relatively modest this year.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Geoff Porges has a yearly average return of -0.4% and a 41% success rate. Porges has a 2.5% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #2460 out of 3840 analysts.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals

In addition, Leerink’s Jason Gerberry reiterated an Outperform rating on shares of Jazz Pharmaceuticals, with a price target of $167, after the FDA approved the company’s drug to treat a rare kind of liver disease, making it the first treatment to win U.S. approval for the condition.

Gerberry commented, “The FDA press release indicates Defitelio was approved for severe veno-occlusive disease (VOD), the label we expected for the ultra-rare condition that afflicts ~1,700 US patients annually. We forecast $150m in 2021E US sales and do not assume approval for a broader prophylactic indication. Key upside relative to our forecasts include US pricing (we model net $125k/ pt/year) and a Ph. 3 trial design for prophy that mitigates some of the risks associated with evaluating that population of patients.”

“US pricing is the biggest upside wildcard, but we don’t expect JAZZ to price themselves out of the prophy market. At the time of this note, JAZZ has not published its US Defitelio pricing, although they should be providing pricing imminently. The expectation in the market is that Defitelio will be priced ~2x the level of EU pricing, which on average we estimate runs at $60k net, which is a blended average of $93k list price for adults (~85% of pts) and $30-35k for pediatric patients less list price adjustments and compliance adjustments,” the analyst added.

According to TipRanks.com, analyst Jason Gerberry has a yearly average return of -8.7% and a 34.7% success rate. Gerberry has a -21.5% average return when recommending JAZZ, and is ranked #3593 out of 3775 analysts.

Out of the 8 analysts polled by TipRanks (in the past 3 months), 7 rate Jazz Pharmaceuticals stock a Buy, while 1 rates the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 30%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $169.93.


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