Biotech Stocks Highlights: A look at Last Week’s Performance

Biotech stock market news

With second quarter earnings season coming to an end, focus in the biotech sector is back on pipeline and regulatory updates. Last week’s highlights included Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.’s (ACHN) impressive interim data on its experimental hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment, Gilead Sciences’ (GILD – Analyst Report) legal victory and Amgen’s (AMGN – Analyst Report) hit and miss on the clinical front.

Achillion, which focuses on the development of HCV treatments, scored a huge win last week with its experimental HCV treatment, ACH-3102. The company reported impressive interim data on the second-generation NS5A inhibitor which is being evaluated in combination with Gilead’s Sovaldi in a mid-stage study.

Based on these results, Achillion intends to start a six-week treatment regimen of ACH-3102 and Sovaldi. Shares were up 9.6% and touched a 52-week high. The HCV market represents immense commercial potential. Even though treatments options like Sovaldi are currently available, newer and improved treatment options are highly awaited

Biotech Stock News

More HCV-focused news flowed in last week with Gilead scoring a legal win over Roche (RHHBY) in an arbitration related to its HCV treatment, Sovaldi. There was more good news in store for Gilead with NICE – the UK’s drug cost-effectiveness watchdog – backing Sovaldi. The positive recommendation came soon after Gilead submitted additional information about the drug’s cost effectiveness.

Amgen had two sets of clinical data last week – the first on cancer treatment, Kyprolis and the second on AMG-416. The highly awaited Kyprolis data from the phase III FOCUS study was a disappointment with the primary endpoint being missed. However, this should not stop Amgen from going ahead with its plans to file for regulatory approval in the EU based on encouraging ASPIRE data presented earlier this month.

Biogen (BIIB) continues to strengthen its position in the multiple sclerosis (MS) market. The company has added yet another MS drug to its portfolio in the U.S. with the FDA approval of Plegridy.

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Biotech Financial News

While nothing specific is lined up later this week, stay tuned for the usual pipeline and regulatory updates.

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