Time New York: Sun 18 Nov 15:43 pm  |  Save 15% on H&R Block Online

  
caticonslite_bm_alt

Gilead Inks Gene Editing Collaboration Deal for HBV Infection

Zacks

Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with privately held Precision BioSciences to develop therapies aimed at eliminating hepatitis B virus (HBV) using the latter’s gene editing platform ARCUS.

Precision BioSciences’ ARCUS is a technologically advanced genome editing platform obtained from a natural genome editing enzyme called a homing endonuclease. The platform has already gained an important role for genome editing in the HBV program. Gilead said that preliminary studies using ARCUS nucleases demonstrated a significant activity against the integrated HBV DNA in human hepatocytes.

Per the agreement, Precision will take the responsibility of developing, formulating and preclinical evaluation of the investigational nucleases while Gilead will take care of clinical development of any therapies emerging from the deal. The company will fund the entire research and development program. Gilead is entitled to pay up to $445 million to Precision BioSciences as potential milestone payments and tiered royalties up to the mid-teens on commercial sales.

Per the press release, there are more than 257 million people, diagnosed with HBV infection across the globe. The current available treatments subdue the HBV viral replication but cannot completely eliminate the virus. This collaboration program will solely concentrate on developing such therapies that completely eradicate the HBV virus.


Shares of Gilead have increased 3.1% year to date versus the industry’s decline of 5.1%.

On Tuesday, Gilead along with its Belgo-Dutch partner Galapagos NV GLPG announced that a phase III FINCH 2 study on rheumatoid arthritis candidate, filgotinib, was successful.

Filgotinib, an investigational, selective JAK1 inhibitor met all primary and key secondary endpoints in first phase III study for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Notably in February 2018, Gilead signed a similar collaborative agreement with Sangamo Therapeutics SGMO for developing gene-edited cell therapies to address cancer using the latter's zinc finger nuclease technology platform.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Gilead currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Another top-ranked stock in the healthcare sector is Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. LGND, carrying a Zacks Rank of 1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Ligand’s earnings estimates have been raised 28.4% for 2018 and 6.5% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has soared 87.3 year to date.

Today's Stocks from Zacks' Hottest Strategies

It's hard to believe, even for us at Zacks. But while the market gained +21.9% in 2017, our top stock-picking screens have returned +115.0%, +109.3%, +104.9%, +98.6%, and +67.1%.

And this outperformance has not just been a recent phenomenon. Over the years it has been remarkably consistent. From 2000 – 2017, the composite yearly average gain for these strategies has beaten the market more than 19X over. Maybe even more remarkable is the fact that we're willing to share their latest stocks with you without cost or obligation.

See Them Free>>


Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
<-- You can share this post with your network,
or give us your opinion and leave a comment.
Be sure to check our RSS feeds for updates.