Gilead’s Yescarta Shows Significant Improvement in Survival in Follicular Lymphoma


Gilead Sciences’ (GILD) Kite Pharma reported follow-up data from the Zuma-5 trial of Yescarta in follicular lymphoma (FL).

After a minimum period of 18 months, the therapy showed a response in 94% of patients, with secondary endpoints of the trial-median progression-free survival and overall survival yet to be reached.

The author of the study, John Gribben, Professor of Medical Oncology at the Cancer Research U.K. Barts Centre in London, said, “Follicular lymphoma is one of the most common non-Hodgkin lymphomas, and patients can experience frequent relapses, which quickly leaves us short of treatment options.” (See Gilead stock analysis on TipRanks)

Gribben added, “We are very encouraged by these data that suggest a significant and sustained survival benefit with Yescarta even after multiple rounds of prior treatment.”

In a weighted analysis comparison of ZUMA-5 data with data from the SCHOLAR-5 external control cohort of existing therapies, Yescarta reduced the risk of death by 58%.

In Follicular lymphoma, the second-highest common type of lymphoma globally, malignant tumors grow slowly but may become aggressive as time passes. The disease accounts for about 22% of all lymphoma cases across the world.

Mizuho Securities analyst Salim Syed recently reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and an $81 price target (19% upside potential).

Commenting on Descovy’s market share, Syed said, “Descovy is holding share at 45% in the Pre-exposure Prophylaxis market and Gilead anticipates it will be able to hold share at this level as the market gets back to pre-COVID-19 levels.”

Furthermore, Syed noted more than anticipated pressure on Gilead’s HIV business as a key risk for the stock.

Based on 9 Buys and 6 Holds, consensus on the Street is a Moderate Buy. The GILD average analyst price target of $78.58 implies 15.5% upside potential.

Shares have gained about 14.9% over the past six months.

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