Gilead Up 6% After Positive Hep-C Trial

Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) gave investors a reason to be excited about future earnings Thursday night:

Though guidance for the year had been weaker than expected after a down fourth quarter, Gilead’s research chief announce results of their anti-hepatitis C treatment.  After a four week, all-oral combination treatment using experimental pill GS-7977 and ribavirin, all genotype-1 hep-C patients appeared to be virus-free. While this is not yet proof of a cure, such results are very clearly promising.

Rights to GS-7977 were acquired when Gilead bought Pharmasset for $11 billion. The drug trial was started at Pharmasset, and consisted of 35 afflicted patients: 25 without previous treatment and 10 who had not responded to earlier therapy. The four week results are encouraging; patients are actually not considered “cured” until they are found to be free of the Hep-C virus 12 weeks after ending treatment.  Upon this possibly great news, shares were up 6 percent in Friday’s pre-market selling.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) has also been trying to develop an all-oral treatment regimen after it acquired the company Inhibitex (NASDAQ:INHX).

Here’s how these stocks are reacting to the news:

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD): GILD shares recently traded at $54.48, up $5.17, or 10.48%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $34.45 to $49.63. Volume today was 28,044,147 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 9,455,160 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 15.85, while trailing earnings are $3.42 per share.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY): BMY shares recently traded at $32.22, down $0.09, or 0.28%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $24.97 to $35.44. Volume today was 5,068,918 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 11,009,900 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.95, while trailing earnings are $2.16 per share.

Inhibitex Inc. (NASDAQ:INHX): INHX shares recently traded at $25.75, up $0.14, or 0.55%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $25.65. Volume today was 4,607,404 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 4,638,890 shares. The company’s trailing earnings are $-0.36 per share.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com