Needham Weighs In on Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD) and Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (ICPT) Following AASLD Meetings

Analyst Alan Carr of Needham rates stocks in the biotechnology sector and is one of the top 25 analysts rated on TipRanks. Today, Carr reiterated his positive stance on the pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, Inc.(NASDAQ:GILD) and  liver disease company Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ICPT), following the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in San Francisco.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Carr reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Gilead Sciences, with a price target of $125, after the company presented results from Phase 2 and 3 trials of nextgeneration HCV regimens at the AASLD meeting.

Carr wrote, “Highlights included comprehensive data from Sofosbuvir/Velpatasvir Phase 3 ASTRAL program and new results from the Phase 2 Sof/Vel/GS-9857 trial. Both regimens have impressive efficacy regardless of GT, prior treatment, or presence of cirrhosis. We expect approval of the 12-wk Sof/Vel regimen in mid-2016 and Gilead plans to move the 8-wk Sof/Vel/GS-9857 regimen into Phase 3 in the near future. Merck and AbbVie also presented data from next-generation 2- and 3- drug regimens. We await additional data next yr from the 3-drug Merck regimen, which may be competitive, in more challenging pts. Based on available data, Gilead appears likely to retain its strong position in HCV.”

According to, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Alan Carr has a total average return of 26.4% and a 59.8% success rate. Carr has a 47.5% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #12 out of 3849 analysts.

Out of the 12 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 10 rate Gilead Sciences stock a Buy, while 2 rate the stock a Hold. With a return potential of 20%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $128.37.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals Inc

Additionally, Carr reiterated a Buy rating on shares of Intercept Pharma, with a price target of $500, after the company presented additional data from its OCA development programs in NASH and PBC and hosted an investor event at the AASLD meeting.

Carr observed, “Intercept plans to initiate a Phase 2 lipid trial by YE15 to assess OCA impact on LDL and lipid metabolism w/ and w/o statins. A Phase 2 trial in pts with cirrhosis and portal hypertension is expected to begin in 2016. We note this is a challenging pt population and regulatory requirements are unclear, w/ potential feasibility issues.”

The analyst continued, “Additional long-term data from OCA PBC clinical trials were presented. Safety/ tolerability profile remained generally favorable, potentially improving somewhat with time, and reductions in ALP were persistent. As a reminder, Intercept submitted an NDA for OCA in PBC and the PDUFA date is 2/29/16. We expect updates on commercial strategy at an analyst/ investor mtg scheduled for 12/1/15.”

“We believe there is room for several drugs in NASH, but continue to believe OCA is well-positioned given demonstrated benefit w/fibrosis in Phase 2,” Carr concluded.

According to, Carr has a 38.2% average return when recommending ICPT. Out of the 8 analysts polled by TipRanks in the last 3 months, 5 rate Intercept stock a Buy, 1 rates the stock a Hold and 2 recommend a Sell. With a return potential of 96.56%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $323.13.




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