Gilead Sciences (GILD): Dont Get Too Excited About GS4997 - Leerink
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Leerink Partners analyst, Geoffrey Porges, reiterated his Market Perform rating on shares of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) after investigators presented the results of the phase II trial for Gilead’s GS4997 (now known as selonsertib) in patients with Non Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (NASH) at the American Association of the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) Meeting in Boston. This relatively small trial has provided the platform for Gilead to advance this compound into large phase III trials in this indication.
On the most recent earnings conference call, the company disclosed that the product has failed in development in other indications such as diabetic nephropathy, and parallel programs in these liver diseases, including simtuzumab, have also been discontinued. However, management’s reaction to GS4997 was very positive and suggested impressive phase II results. The analyst believes the phase II results encouraging signs of disease activity, but at this stage regard the evidence of benefit, and safety and tolerability, as inconclusive. The evidence of effect is persuasive on some endpoints, but unclear on others, and the NASH field is likely to require continued research to refine trial endpoints and to establish some meaningful correlation between those endpoints and clinical benefit for patients. GS4997 also appears to have some tolerability liabilities, which could add to the drug’s limitations in both development and commercialization.
No change to the price target of $89.
Shares of Gilead Sciences closed at $76.75 yesterday.
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