The crux of the situation is that Gilead and Galapagos are developing a JAK-1 selective inhibitor called filgotinib for a Green Rush range of high-value anti-inflammatory conditions, and this drug has rapidly emerged as a key clinical asset in Gilead’s quest to return to growth. Getting to the point, Gilead’s CEO John Milligan noted on the call that the company is considering whether to accelerate filgotinib’s development in the wake of the FDA rejecting Incyte’s once-daily rheumatoid arthritis pill, baricitinib, earlier this year. What an accelerated development timeline means exactly isn’t altogether clear, but the drug is already in late-stage trials for rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Taken together, these three disease markets are currently worth around $28 billion in annual sales, and Galapagos is also planning additional proof-of-concepts studies for filgotinib for other anti-inflammatory conditions. Put simply, this drug definitely has megablockbuster sales potential, especially with the backing of a seasoned biotech like Gilead. In all, Gilead appears primed to put the full weight of its clinical expertise to work to bring filgotinib to market as soon as possible. And that should mean that good things are in store for its partner Galapagos. This biotech stock could have investors seeing “green” Sean Williams (Insys Therapeutics): If you’re an investor that has a long-term time horizon and a stomach for above-average risk, then Insys Therapeutics is the biotech stock you’ll want to consider adding to your portfolio this May. Insys, which is often lumped in as a marijuana stock for reasons we’ll get to in a moment, has seen its share price cut by three-quarters over the past two years. This pessimism stems from allegations and lawsuits surrounding its leading portfolio product Subsys, which is a sublingual breakthrough cancer pain medication. Allegations suggest that Subsys was being used off-label for about 80% of scripts written, and that Insys didn’t market the drug solely for its approved indications.
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