Amid dropping sales of its hepatitis C medication, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) posted positive report from a Phase II drug combo trial of its HIV drug bictegravir. One of the best biotech stocks in the industry, Gilead released this report during the CROI event held in Seattle, Washington.
Gilead reported that Phase II trial results showed that utilizing a combination of bictegravir and emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide was found to be comparable with results recorded from a combination of dolutegravir and emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide in treatment of HIV-1 infected adults.
This comparative trial assessed the two combinations for safety, tolerability and efficacy. Following 24 and 48 weeks, the trial showed that viral loads in almost 97% of the total subjects in the bictegravir combination arm had dropped to undetectable levels as against the dolutegravir combination unit. Viral load suggests the HIV amount in a body fluid such as blood.
The positive trial report now brings Gilead’s bictegravir at par with GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR)(NYSE:GSK)’s Tivicy, which secured nod from the U.S. FDA in August 2013 for curing HIV infection. Gilead looks forward to moving the combination therapy in 4 Phase 3 clinical studies. The Phase III trials are fully registered, and data is anticipated by the close of this year.
Gilead Sciences’ gloomy forward outlook has many shareholders running for the exits and putting their money in other biotech stocks. However, it should be noted that the shares are cheap, the firm is highly profitable, and it appears well positioned to advance strong in the long term. At recent prices, GILD stock can be bought for 5.8 times FY2016 earnings. The average stock in the S&P 500 index is presently trading at 24.2 times 2016 earnings. Additionally, the company has arguably the most exciting program to advance the first treatment for NASH.