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News Breaks
July 21, 2014
07:21 EDTMRK, GILDGilead could be hurt by new HCV drugs, says Wells Fargo
Noting that data on a new Merck (MRK) HCV treatment is expected in November, Wells Fargo thinks Merck's HCV drug could be combined with Gilead's (GILD) Sovaldi to shorten the duration of treatment to four weeks. Other companies could take similar actions, and Gilead's per patient revenues would be significantly reduced if this occurs, the firm warned. However, it continues to have an upbeat outlook on Gilead heading into what it sees as a strong quarter and is still upbeat on the company's long-term HCV opportunity. It keeps an Outperform rating on Gilead.
News For GILD;MRK From The Last 14 Days
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January 29, 2016
10:16 EDTGILDOptions with increasing implied volatility: WMB W CERS RAD CRM GILD MNST
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09:44 EDTMRK, GILDGilead slips as another drug enters Hepatitis C virus space
Shares of Gilead (GILD), a leader in the hepatitis C virus treatment space, are sliding this morning after one competitor's hep C drug was granted FDA approval and another's sales disappointed. Additionally, Gilead reported its own news, announcing a shakeup of the roles held by its top executives. MERCK APPROVAL: Merck (MRK) announced last night that the FDA has approved Zepatier for the treatment of adult patients with chronic hepatitis C virus, or HCV, genotype, or GT, 1 or GT4 infection. Merck has established a list price of $54,600 for a 12-week regimen of Zepatier, which the company said it believes to "be in the range of net prices for other commonly used HCV direct-acting antiviral regimens at 12 weeks of therapy." In contrast, a 12-week regimen of Gilead's Sovaldi is reported to be priced at $84,000. Merck added that it anticipates that this price, as well as its "strategy to seek broad coverage across commercial and public segments," will help broaden and accelerate patient access to treatment. ABBVIE RESULTS: Meanwhile, Gilead competitor AbbVie (ABBV) announced financial results for the fourth quarter this morning. AbbVie announced Q4 sales of Viekira Pak, its own hep C treatment, of $554M, including U.S. sales of $197M and international sales of $357M. Analysts expected AbbVie to report Q4 Viekira sales of $568.5M, according to a Bloomberg consensus estimate that factored in four forecasts. EXECUTIVE CHANGES: Additionally, Gilead announced this morning that current chairman and CEO John Martin will assume the role of executive chairman, effective March 10. John Milligan, currently president and COO, will be promoted to CEO and appointed to the company's board. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead shares slipped 3.5% to $84.50, while AbbVie fell 2.4% to $54.53 and Merck (MRK) gained 1% to $49.75.
09:35 EDTGILDGilead falls, levels to watch
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09:34 EDTGILDActive equity options trading on open: AMZN MSFT FB AAPL GILD GE
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09:21 EDTGILDOn The Fly: Pre-market Movers
UP AFTER EARNINGS: Gigamon (GIMO), up 17.7%... Fortinet (FTNT), up 10%... Flextronics (FLEX), up 10%... Skyworks (SWKS), up 5.7%... Seagate Technology (STX), up 4.9%.. Microsoft (MSFT), up 4.6%. ALSO HIGHER: Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO), up 8.1% after CEO says Zika vaccine could enter human testing this year... J.C. Penney (JCP), up 2.1% after being upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse... BRF S.A. (BRFS), up 3.1% after being upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank... Axiall (AXLL), up 83.4% after rejecting $20 per share acquisition proposal from Westlake Chemical (WLK)... Energous (WATT), up 12% after Bloomberg reported that Apple (AAPL) is working with partners in the U.S. and Asia to develop new wireless charging technology. DOWN AFTER EARNINGS: Amazon.com (AMZN), down 10.1%... Electronic Arts (EA), down 6.2%... AbbVie (ABBV), down 4%... American Airlines (AAL), down 1.3%. ALSO LOWER: Gilead Sciences (GILD), down 5.5% after CEO John Martin to assume role of executive chairman and COO John Milligan will be promoted to CEO.
08:14 EDTGILDPiper Jaffray holds an analyst/industry conference call to discuss Gilead
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08:01 EDTGILDGilead chairman, CEO John C. Martin to assume role of executive chairman
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05:33 EDTMRKStocks with implied volatility movement; VRX MRK
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January 28, 2016
19:02 EDTMRKMerck receives FDA approval of Zepatier
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18:37 EDTMRKFDA approves Merck's Zepatier for chronic hepatitis C
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07:08 EDTMRKFDA PDUFA Date for Merck's Grazoprevir/Elbasvir is January 28, 2016
January 27, 2016
12:19 EDTMRKPiper Jaffray biopharma analyst holds an analyst/industry conference call
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11:07 EDTGILD, MRKGilead sinks as Attorney General probes pricing strategy
Shares of drugmaker Gilead (GILD) are underperforming after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey warned that her office may bring an unfair commercial conduct complaint against it related to the pricing for its Hepatitis C virus treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni. UNFAIR PRICING: Healey, in a letter addressed to Gilead CEO John Martin dated January 22 that has just been made public, said that her office is considering whether Gilead's pricing strategy for Sovaldi and Harvoni may constitute an "unfair trade practice" in violation of Massachusetts law. "Because Gilead's drugs offer a cure for a serious and life-threatening infectious disease, pricing the treatment in a manner that effectively allows HCV to continue spreading through vulnerable populations, as opposed to eradicating the disease altogether, results in massive public harm," Healey stated in her letter to Martin. Healey, who urged Gilead to adjust its pricing strategy, noted that the company has invoked the high cost and risk associated with research and development as a justification for its prices, but she said that Gilead quickly recouped its outlay to acquire Pharmasset by selling "$12.4B worth of HCV medication in the first year alone" after its deal. The AG, who said that Sovaldi costs $1,000 per pill in the U.S. but only $10 per pill in Egypt and about $4 per pill in India, contends that American taxpayers "have been footing the bill for Gilead's record profits." FREQUENT TARGET: The pricing of Gilead's hep C treatments have been the focus of significant criticism and political rhetoric in the past. In December, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden and senior committee member Chuck Grassley released the results of an 18-month investigation into the pricing and marketing of Sovaldi and Harvoni. The company "pursued a marketing strategy and final wholesale price of Sovaldi - $1,000 per pill, or $84,000 for a single course of treatment - that it believed would maximize revenue," and "fostering broad, affordable access was not a key consideration in the process of setting the wholesale prices," the senators wrote. Members of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force, who held a press conference last November to announce "meaningful action" to combat the "skyrocketing" costs of pharmaceuticals, specifically took aim at Sovaldi. During her campaigning efforts, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has repeatedly decried the "outrageous" prices of specialty drugs. OTHERS TO WATCH: AbbVie (ABBV), Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) also market or are at work on therapies for hepatitis C. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Gilead slid 2% to $90.35.
10:38 EDTGILDGilead trades near session lows
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10:00 EDTMRKOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
Today's noteworthy downgrades include: BG Group (BRGYY) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse... Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citi... Bill Barrett (BBG) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg... Brown & Brown (BRO) downgraded to Underweight at Morgan Stanley... Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG... Canadian National (CNI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... DreamWorks (DWA) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Topeka... FirstMerit (FMER) downgraded at RBC Capital... Gentex (GNTX) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Haverty Furniture (HVT) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Hercules Technology (HTGC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point... Horizon Technology (HRZN) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James... Installed Building downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Jarden (JAH) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citi... K+S (KPLUF) downgraded to Sell from Hold at Berenberg... La-Z-Boy (LZB) downgraded at BB&T... Legacy Reserves (LGCY) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital... Medivation (MDVN) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord... Merck (MRK) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill... Metaldyne Performance (MPG) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird... Pier 1 Imports (PIR) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... Priceline (PCLN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman... Profire Energy (PFIE) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Chardan... Regeneron (REGN) downgraded to Hold at Canaccord... Starwood (HOT) downgraded to Underperform from Outperform at CLSA... Swiss Re (SSREY) downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley... TSYS (TSS) downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at First Analysis... Talmer Bancorp (TLMR) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital... TopBuild (BLD) downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc... TripAdvisor (TRIP) downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman... VMware (VMW) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Summit Research... W.R. Grace (GRA) downgraded to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman... WEC Energy (WEC) downgraded to Neutral from Conviction Buy at Goldman... Welltower (HCN) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital... Yamana Gold (AUY) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
09:32 EDTMRKActive equity options trading on open
Active equity options trading on open: AAPL FB AMZN AAL BAC PCLN NFLX MRK GOOG
08:52 EDTGILDMassachusetts AG warns Gilead hep C drug prices may be unfair, Boston Globe says
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08:36 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral on lack of catalysts at BofA/Merrill
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08:31 EDTMRKMerck says FDA accepts for review BLA for investigational antitoxin
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08:29 EDTMRKMerck downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
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