December 6, 2013

Gilead’s (GILD) Blockbuster Hep C Drug Ready for Launch

Provided by Cabot Investing Advice

on December 06, 2013

Gilead Sciences' (GILD) hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi, formerly known as sofosbuvir, is one of the most anticipated new drugs in the industry in quite some time. Everyone and his mother expect the FDA to approve it by its Sunday deadline, thanks to the strong safety and efficacy data produced in its clinical trials.

Analysts are modeling an already-blockbuster $1.7 billion in sales next year, climbing to $8 billion in 2018, making it one of the best-selling drugs in the world.

Expectations are so high because Sovaldi promises substantial improvement on existing treatments for a serious disease. It's both more effective and has fewer side effects than the standard regimen of pegylated interferon, and it can be swallowed rather than injected.

The only live question at this point is where Gilead will price the drug. ISI Group analyst Mark Schoenebaum's informal survey of buy-side analysts last month found an average estimate of $85,000 for 12 weeks of treatment, but sell-side estimates have been running as high as $100,000. The price depends partly on how the FDA chooses to label the drug, which remains to be seen.
GILD is a Cabot Top Ten Trader stock.


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