Piper Jaffray’s Healthcare Insights: Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD), bluebird bio Inc (BLUE)

Piper Jaffray’s healthcare analyst Joshua Schimmer came out today with a few insights on the pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and clinical-stage biotechnology company bluebird bio Inc (NASDAQ:BLUE), following recent discussions with the companies’ management teams.

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Schimmer reiterated an Overweight rating on shares of Gilead Sciences, with a price target of $134, after hosting a fireside chat this morning with GILD’s EVP, Commercial Operations, Paul Carter. The conversation focused on the company’s continued dominance in HCV and HIV spaces.

Schimmer noted, “The approval of Genvoya represents a major milestone for GILD as the company is building multiple TAF-related products going forward. With strong dateset in the label, GILD believes Genovya will be the first choice of treatment for new patients as well as taking share from Atripla, Stribild, and Viread. In addition, TAF-containing regimens are under review by the FDA and should come out next year. F/TAF + GS-9883 regimen is currently studied in P3 while JNJ is coordinating registration for a darunavir + C/F/TAF regimen.

Furthermore, “The company has applied for approval of a pan-genotypic combination of sofosbuvir + velpatasvir, which is a 12-week regimen and is highly effective across all genotypes. Phase 3 studies are underway for a pan-GT triple combo which may be positioned for refractory patients. We believe these new regimens, if approved, will give a very important option for patients around the world where non-GT1 or -GT2 patients are predominant. While many investors believe 2015 will be the peak of HCV sales for GILD, the company isn’t so sure that will prove to be accurate.”

The analyst concluded, “GILD, in our view, remains as a solid large-cap opportunity for investors, although much of its outlook will depend on the company’s ability to maintain its strong track record of transformation growth-driving M&A.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst Joshua Schimmer has a total average return of 0.7% and a 48% success rate. Schimmer has a 12.4% average return when recommending GILD, and is ranked #1612 out of 3644 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 22%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $127.83.

bluebird bio Inc

In addition, Schimmer reiterated an Overweight rating on shares of bluebird bio, with a price target of $204, after hosting an investor dinner with CEO Nick Leschly and CSO Philip Gregory.

Schimmer stated, “While much of the time was spent on the profile of LentiGlobin and how this may evolve/improve over time (longer follow up of patients and key process improvements to improve % of cells transducer), we also had a chance to discuss the broader platform, including the CCALD, CAR-T and gene editing platforms. We believe investor hyper-focus on early/evolving LentiGlobin data is missing a much bigger picture of a platform making substantial gains in optimization and versatility.”

According to TipRanks.com, Schimmer has a -32.9% average return when recommending BLUE, and is ranked #1612 out of 3644 analysts. As of this writing, all the 11 analysts polled by TipRanks rate bluebird bio stock a Buy. With a return potential of 81.66%, the stock’s consensus target price stands at $161.22.

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