Gilead Sciences (GILD): Boost For Gilead R&D Strategy - Leerink
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Leerink Partners analyst, Geoffrey Porges, reiterated his Outperform rating on shares of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) after Gilead partner Galapagos announced endoscopic and histopathological results, for FITZROY, their phase 2 trial of JAK1 inhibitor filgotinib in Crohn's disease – with positive trends observed for the treatment arms. The results of FITZROY had previously been reported last May (with an interim disclosure last December), but yesterday’s results mark the first time pathology data was provided.
The percentage of actively treated patients with a Simple Endoscopic Score for Crohn's Disease (SES-CD) improvement of at least 50% was 25% in contrast to the percentage of patients receiving placebo, which was 13.6%. The difference was not significant, but clearly trended toward the treatment arm.
The analyst stated "These data, while not overwhelming, continue to support the potential of filgotinib as a treatment for Crohn’s, and are likely to provide a slight uplift for Gilead’s R&D strategy, which had recently taken a hit with the disclosure that the company was discontinuing its GS-5745 (anti-MMP9 antibody) in ulcerative colitis".
Gilead and Galapagos expect to initiate a phase 3 in Crohn’s and a phase 2/3 in ulcerative colitis next quarter.
No change to the price target of $112.
Shares of Gilead Sciences closed at $81.37 yesterday.
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