This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Biotech Twitter Mailbag: Gilead, Chelsea, Keryx, Onyx, BioSante, Dendreon

Stocks in this article: GILD CHTP BPAX DNDN KERX TTNP.OB ONXX

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- A special midweek, all-Twitter version of the Biotech Stock Mailbag:

Please also read part 2 of the Twitter Biotech Mailbag.

@leemambertweets: "More GILD '7977 data due next week @ CROI. Will it be as bad as last data release?"

Gilead Sciences (GILD - Get Report) was expected to make a big splash with its hepatitis C drug GS-7977 at next week's Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI). That's no longer true, however, given the poor outcomes for genotype 1 "null responders" already disclosed.

On Feb. 17, Gilead announced results from a cohort in the phase II "Electron" study. Ten hepatitis C genotype 1 patients with a prior "null response" to interferon and ribavirin were retreated with GS-7977 and ribavirin for 12 weeks. Within four weeks of completing treatment, six of eight patients relapsed, meaning the hepatitis C virus, which had been suppressed, came roaring back. Two patients had not relapsed, however they had only reached the two-week post-treatment time point, Gilead said at the time.

Gilead shares are down 16% since Feb. 17 on investors concerns that '7977 may not be as potent a hepatitis C drug as previously expected.

At CROI, Gilead is expected to present an update on these "null" patients treated with '7977 and ribavirin. We have yet to see results for two of the 10 patients and need an update on the two patients who were still relapse free at two weeks post treatment.

If you do the simple math, the best four-week cure rate (SVR4) Gilead can muster from this cohort of patients is 40% i.e. the four remaining patients are all virus free. Likewise, if all the remaining four patients relapse, the four-week cure rate will be 0%.

Obviously, investor expectations are low at this point, but I'd still say Gilead needs to show an SVR4 in at least one or two patients to salvage something positive at CROI and prevent a further slide in its stock price.

CROI's importance is diminished, so the next big hepatitis C data catalyst for Gilead comes later this quarter or early in the second quarter. That's when we'll see results from the '7977+ribavirin combo therapy in two groups of "naïve" hepatitis C patients (those patients new to treatment.)

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,164.95 -251.90 -1.45%
S&P 500 1,994.99 -26.26 -1.30%
NASDAQ 4,635.24 -48.1670 -1.03%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs