Gilead Speeds Up Production of Experimental COVID-19 Drug, Stock Up 7%
- Gilead slashed production time of a remdesivir drug from one year to six months
- The pharma giant aims to produce 500,000 doses by October, while planning to donate 1.5 million doses
- Stock price closed 7% higher as shares trade near the multi-year highs
Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD) said it has accelerated production time of Remdesivir, considered to be the most promising existing therapeutic candidate for COVID-19, from one year to six months. In the meantime, shares of the company are trading near the multi-year highs, despite the wider market selloff.
Fundamental analysis: Gilead betting on Remdesivir
While private and governmental resources are focused on the development of COVID-19 vaccine, pharma giant Gilead is ramping up the production of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug initially developed to fight Ebola, due to its broad antiviral spectrum.
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“Among the different therapeutic options, Remdesivir was considered the most promising candidate based on the broad antiviral spectrum, the in vitro and in-vivo data available for coronaviruses, and the extensive clinical safety database (in particular coming from the Ebola virus disease clinical trial and MEURI) in eastern Congo),” it is said in the WHO’s publication on COVID-19.
In a blog post, CEO Daniel O’Day said Gielad will donate 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, which could treat around 140,000 patients. Moreover, the pharma giant is targeting the production of 500,000 doses of Remdesivir by October after it managed to shorten the time frame for the drug’s production from one year to six months.
“We know the desperate urgency of reaching these patients and believe that the expanded access program will help to accelerate the process. New U.S. sites have been initiated and we are adding more on an ongoing basis. We are also making progress in Europe,” said O’Day.
“More than 1,700 patients have now been treated through these programs.”
The WHO earlier said that a clinical trial will be conducted in China and elsewhere to “evaluate the safety and efficacy of Remdesivir in association with optimized standard of care”.
Technical analysis: Stock price holding up really well
Shares of Gilead gained more than 7% in the last week to further consolidate the pharma giant as one of the top performers in the last few weeks. As a result, the stock price is trading only 10% from the two year high set three weeks ago.
On the upside, the bulls will continue to target levels above the 2-year high of $85.97 with a 4-year high of $89.54 being the next target. On the downside, the confluence of two weekly moving averages is providing a block support between $68 and $72 for those looking to buy Gilead stock on a dip.
Shares of Gilead jumped more than 7% during the past week as the stock continues to defy the market selloff elsewhere. The company said it will accelerate the production of Remdesivir, considered to be the most promising existing therapeutic candidates for COVID-19, from one year to six months.