Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) announced it has entered into a partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide $20 million in funding and drug donations over five years to expand access to diagnostic services and treatment for visceral leishmaniasis (VL). As part of this collaboration, Gilead will donate 380,000 vials of AmBisome® (amphotericin B liposome for injection) to meet the needs of WHO to treat VL in key endemic countries, including Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Nepal,South Sudan and Sudan.
VL, also known as kala-azar, is the world’s second-deadliest parasitic infectious disease and affects up to 300,000 people annually in resource-limited countries.
“This new collaboration comes at the right time as we gear up to support endemic countries in the Eastern Africa sub-region and South-East Asia to eliminate visceral leishmaniasis as a public health problem by or before 2020,” said Dr. Ren Minghui, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases. “During the past five years, AmBisome, donated by Gilead, allowed many countries in the Region highly endemic for VL to implement WHO’s recommended first line treatment, benefitting thousands of people.”
Gilead’s support of WHO’s leishmaniasis control program began in 1992. InDecember 2011, Gilead expanded its partnership by donating approximately 445,000 vials of AmBisome to treat more than 50,000 people over five years and to expand the number of VL treatment centers from fewer than 15 in 2011 to more than 160 in 2015.
“We’re proud to continue our long-standing partnership with the World Health Organization as it continues its efforts to combat this illness worldwide,” said Gregg Alton, Executive Vice President Commercial and Access Operations ALA, Corporate and Medical Affairs. “We want to ensure every patient around the world has access to medicines that can save them from life-threatening diseases. This renewed partnership is one step further towards that goal.”
Gilead’s funding will enable WHO to expand and reinforce leishmaniasis surveillance and control efforts in highly endemic areas, including creating a sustainable infrastructure to improve diagnosis and treatment of VL. Gilead’s medicine donation will be distributed by WHO as determined by a group of experts appointed by WHO. (Original Source)
Shares of Gilead Sciences closed today at $79.25, down $1.37 or -1.70%. GILD has a 1-year high of $111.11 and a 1-year low of $76.67. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $79.11 and its 200-day moving average is $85.07.
On the ratings front, GILD stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Leerink Swann analyst Geoff Porges downgraded GILD to Hold, with a price target of $94, which implies an upside of 18.6% from current levels. Separately, yesterday, Merrill Lynch’s Ying Huang reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $100.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Geoff Porges and Ying Huang have a total average return of -0.6% and 18.9% respectively. Porges has a success rate of 35% and is ranked #2986 out of 4183 analysts, while Huang has a success rate of 70% and is ranked #152.
The street is mostly Bullish on GILD stock. Out of 17 analysts who cover the stock, 9 suggest a Buy rating and 8 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $107.29, which represents a potential upside of 35.4% from where the stock is currently trading.