Gilead Sciences, Inc’s (GILD) Hep C Franchise Continues to Grow: Analyst Bullish

On Sep 21, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) announced data from four of its Phase 3 studies: ASTRAL-1, ASTRAL-2, ASTRAL-3 and ASTRAL-4, for the treatment of all 6 hepatitis C genotypes. If approved, the combination of Sofosbuvir (SOF) and Velpatasvir (VEL) will be the first All-Oral Pan-Genotypic Single Tablet Regimen for Chronic HCV. Gilead plans to submit a New Drug Application in both the U.S. and Europe in the fourth quarter of this year.

Based on the positive data, analyst Phil Nadeau from Cowen & Co. offered his views on the stock. According to Nadeau, “GILD released top-line data from the Ph. III ASTRAL trials of SOF+VEL. Twelve weeks of the fixed-dosed combination generated >94% SVR12 rates in GT1-6 including decompensated cirrhotics (when combined with RBV). These data suggest that SOF+VEL is a viable pan-genotypic HCV regimen, and that GILD now has a potent regimen for GT 3 patients.”

Gilead is already a strong player in hepatitis drugs; two of its drugs — Sovaldi and Harvoni – are market leaders in this category and constitute a large portion of Gilead’s revenue.

The SOF/VEL fixed-dose combination has been assigned Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA. This designation is given to investigational medicines that have the potential to offer significant advancements in treatment when compared to existing alternatives.

Nadeau maintained an Outperform rating on the stock with a price target of $125. Nadeau’s ratings are in-line with the other 11 analysts polled by TipRanks who have recently rated the stock, with each them giving a Buy rating. Based on the 12-month price targets offered by these analysts, the average price target for Gilead is $130.10, an upside of 22.15% from present levels.

GILD consensus

Analyst Phil Nadeau has rated Gilead ten times since 2010, earning an 80% success rate recommending Gilead with a +6.5% average return per GILD rating.

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