Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences is expanding the availability of its COVID-19 treatment Remdesivir in India amid the country’s spike in cases.
Gilead (GILD) is providing technical assistance and support for setting up new local manufacturing plants. The company is also donating the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to local facilities to help increase the production of the drug in India.
Additionally, the company is donating at least 450,000 vials of Veklury to help Indian patients. Remdesivir is marketed in the US under the brand name Veklury.
Gilead Sciences’ Chief Commercial Officer, Johanna Mercier, said, “The recent surge of COVID-19 cases in India is having a devastating impact on communities and has created unprecedented pressure on health systems.”
Mercier added, “Our immediate focus is to help address the needs of patients in India who may benefit from Remdesivir as quickly as we can by working together with the government, health authorities, and our voluntary licensees.” (See Gilead stock analysis on TipRanks)
All seven of Gilead’s licensees in India have already ramped up Remdesivir production by increasing batch sizes, adding new production facilities, and taking on local contract manufacturers.
In May 2020, Gilead established a licensing program to allow others to manufacture Remdesivir without owing royalties to Gilead. This has allowed more than 2.3 million people across 60-plus countries to be able to access the drug.
On April 20, Mizuho Securities analyst Salim Syed reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a $81 price target (23.2% upside potential).
Gilead is expected to report 1Q results on April 29. Syed will “look for more granularity on the call regarding any potential growth driver” and potential long-term guidance.
Consensus on the Street is that Gilead is a Moderate Buy, based on 11 Buys, 5 Holds and 1 Sell. The average analyst price target of $78.15 implies upside potential of 18.8%. Shares have gained about 9.7% over the past six months.
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