New Pill from Gilead and Bristol-Myers Could Impact Spread and Treatment of AIDS

Includes: BMY, GILD, MRK
by: David Jackson

Excerpt from our One Page Annotated Wall Street Journal Summary (which you can get emailed to you every morning by signing up here):

New AIDS Pill Simplifies Treatment

  • Summary: Gilead Sciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb have partnered to combine their AIDS drugs into a "triple-cocktail" that requires patients to take only one pill per day, and the FDA says it may approve the pill soon, possibly within the next few weeks. Doctors expect the availability of a singe-pill treatment to simplify patients' lives and even slow the spread of AIDS, with significant ramifications for Africa and other developing countries where the AIDS epidemic is acute. The new pill will contain three drugs: Viread and Emtriva from Gilead and Sustiva from Bristol-Myers Squibb. Gilead currently offers Viread and Emtriva together in a single pill called Truvada. Pricing for the triple pill has not been disclosed, but the two companies have suggested it would cost about the same as its components, ie. about $14,00 per year in the US. It would sell at cost in developing countries, namely about $600. But that's 4x the price of an older, more toxic triple-combination pill currently available.
  • Comment on related stocks/ETFs: It's not yet clear what the financial impact will be on Gilead (NASDAQ:GILD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) and distributor Merck (NYSE:MRK), as the financial arrangements for who manufactures the new pill and how the profits will be split haven't been disclosed. But sometimes focusing on the stock impact is distasteful: this is simply great news for a lot of people.