Shares of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX) - Get BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. Report on Wednesday jumped on news of Gilead's (GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences Inc. Report positive test results for the use of its anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients.
That's because BioCryst is testing its own coronavirus drug, which a bullish note from an industry analyst said works in a clinically similar way as remdesivir.
Shares of BioCryst, Durham, N.C., at last check jumped 16% to $3.89. Gilead shares advanced 7.8% to $84.79.
Gilead, Foster City, Calif., has said that a National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases study of the use of its remdesivir to help save the lives of coronavirus patients had achieved its primary endpoint.
BioCryst had already begun a clinical trial in Brazil of its own drug, galidesivir, on coronavirus patients.
In a research note, a JMP Securities analyst argued that the encouraging news out of Gilead - which helped boost the stock market - "bodes well" for BioCryst and its own efforts to repurpose an anti-viral drug to battle covid-19.
In particular, BioCryst's galidesivir works clinically in a similar way to Gilead's remdesivir, JMP analyst Liisa Bayko wrote.
Even so, Bayko cautioned that the two drugs have different chemical structures and that galidesivir is in an earlier stage of vetting, having just launched a small Phase I trial in Brazil.
The JMP analyst affirmed her outperform rating on BioCryst, while lifting her price target to $10, which indicates a more than doubling of its current trading price.
Shares of BioCryst also have more than doubled in value over the past five and a half months, rising from $1.75 a share on Nov. 11.