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Gilead Sciences, Inc. Announces Encouraging Data on its HCV Drugs (GILD)

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) announced encouraging data from several phase II studies evaluating hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug Harvoni and other Sovaldi-based regimens in HCV infected patients with advanced liver disease, including patients with decompensated cirrhosis, fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis C and portal hypertension.

Data from these studies will be presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.

We note that both Harvoni and Sovaldi are approved in the U.S. for the treatment of chronic HCV infection. While Harvoni is indicated for patients with genotype 1, Sovaldi is used in combination with other agents and its efficacy has been established in patients with genotypes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Meanwhile, the company also announced impressive data from pre-clinical, phase I and phase II studies. Data from the studies support the ongoing development of GS-9857. These data also show a potential for an all-oral, triple combination therapy containing Sovaldi, GS-5816 and GS-9857, which could further reduce treatment duration for HCV patients.

We are pleased with the impressive data on HCV candidates. HCV is one of the key focus areas at Gilead. The company has entered into agreements with several pharmacy benefit managers and health care service companies for its HCV drugs. The company is also undertaking several pricing measures including an increase in discount, charge back and rebates.

The HCV market has several approved drugs like AbbVie Inc’s (NYSE:ABBV) Viekira Pak and Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:JNJ) Olysio.

Gilead holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) is a better-ranked stock in the health care space carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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