Gilead Sciences, Inc.
) recently announced encouraging detailed 24-week data from a
phase II study (study 102) on its HIV single tablet regimen
(STR). The STR includes tenofovir alafenamide (TAF), a pro drug
of Gilead's HIV drug Viread. The study compared a once-daily STR
of TAF 10 mg, elvitegravir 150 mg, cobicistat 150 mg, Emtriva 200
mg with Stribild.
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We remind investors that Gilead gained approval from the US Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) for Stribild in Aug 2012 as a
first-line therapy for treating adults with HIV-1 infection.
Stribild is a combination of elvitegravir, cobicistat and
Truvada. We note that Truvada itself is a combination of Viread
and Emtriva. Data from the above study revealed that the
TAF-based regimen worked as effectively as Stribild for treating
treatment-naïve HIV infected adults. We note that Gilead had
announced top-line data from the study in Oct 2012.
Gilead also stated in its press release that it had commenced 2
phase III studies of two (studies 104 and 111) to evaluate the
TAF-based regimen versus Stribild for treating HIV patients, who
are new to therapy.
We are impressed with the encouraging data on the HIV candidate.
Successful development and commercialization of the TAF-based
regimen would further strengthen its HIV portfolio.
We remain optimistic on the growth prospects of Gilead's HIV
drugs such as Truvada and Atripla. We are also encouraged by the
sales ramp of the newly launched Complera/Eviplera. The strong
performance of Stribild since launch is also encouraging.
Gilead, a biopharmaceutical company, currently carries a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold). Biopharma stocks such as
Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.
Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
) are comparatively well placed and carry a Zacks Rank #2