GILD: Second Covid-19 Study of Remdesivir in China Suspended; Expect Key Data in Coming Weeks

According to reports, the mild-moderate study had planned to enroll 308 patients from Wuhan- but it remains unclear exactly how many enrolled to date. The stock is currently down 3% in today’s trading, but is still up 16% year-to-date.

For RBC Capital analyst Brian Abrahams this latest update is a worrying sign of the drug’s efficacy. He writes:

“We continue to believe that while remdesivir showed a promising signal of activity in the recent open label compassionate use published data, the fact that no data has been revealed from the truncated severe study in China – the only randomized study thus far – despite today’s update also indicating it had enrolled a reasonably robust number of pts (n=237), suggests any benefits observed were likely inconclusive and maintains our view that the likelihood of remdesivir demonstrating substantial activity remains at best 50/50.”

He is now waiting for further information from any publication of the China study in severe patients, and possibly this now-terminated mild-moderate study.

Looking ahead key upcoming readouts for the drug remain the GILD-sponsored studies in severe and moderate COVID-19 patients in late April and May respectively. However he notes that the lack of a control arm for the severe study may limit interpretability.

Abrahams nonetheless maintained his buy rating on GILD with an $85 price target. That makes him more bullish than consensus, according to TipRanks. Based on 26 analyst ratings published on the stock in the last three months, GILD shows a Moderate Buy consensus and $77 average price target. (See Gilead’s stock analysis on TipRanks)

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