Three Companies That Are Just as Great as Gilead

Three Companies That Are Just as Great as Gilead
February 4, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

If not technically a blue-chip stock, Gilead Sciences has likely moved from being that fast-burning company that gained more than 4,930 percent in the last 15 years to a more steady, consistent earner. In light of that, The Motley Fool’s Brian Feroldi looks at three companies that just might give investors a fast burn.

Intra-Cellular Therapies

This New York-based company is focused on drugs to treat central nervous system (CNS) disorders. The company’s tech platform, CNSProfile, allows the company to pick compounds that have a stronger possibility of being useful in treating these diseases.

On Dec. 23, Intra-Cellular announced that it had started enrollment in two Phase III clinical trials, one for ITI-007-401 Monotherapy for bipolar depression, and ITI-007-402 as an adjunctive therapy to lithium or valproate for the same disorder.

The same compound has shown positive results earlier in December for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia (ITI-007-301). Sharon Mates, company chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement at the time, “These data are consistent with prior results seen in our Phase II study and add further evidence to our belief that ITI-007 may represent an improvement on existing therapies for patients with schizophrenia.”

Investors liked that reasonably well, although the company’s has recently been on a downturn. Shares traded on Sept. 17 for $58.62, dropped to $37.50 on Sept. 29, and climbed back to $58.76 on Nov. 27. Shares are currently trading for $31.38.

Analysts project that, if the drug is approved for schizophrenia and other CNS disorders, including dementia, it could hit peak sales of $6 billion.

Prothena Corporation

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, Prothena is a late-stage clinical biotech company focused on developing and commercializing protein immunotherapies for neurological disorders like AL amyloidosis and Parkinson’s disease. are currently trading for $35.91 after a price of $71.24 on Dec. 29. 2015.

Feroldi notes that in 2015, company shares rose 234 percent, primarily on hopes for the company’s early-stage clinical pipeline. A Phase I trial of PRX-002 for Parkinson’s disease showed positive results, and, he writes, “suggests that PRX-002 could treat the root cause of Parkinson’s disease, which, if true, would be an enormous breakthrough.” In addition, there were no adverse side effects observed. It is also working with Roche, which gives it some financial clout.


South San Francisco, Calif.-based Exelixis works to develop and market small molecule therapies for cancer. Just this week the company announced positive results from its Phase III trial dubbed METEOR of cabozantinib in advanced renal cell carcinoma. The trial compares cabozantinib to everolimus in 658 patients. It showed a “highly statistically significant and clinically meaningful increase in overall survival (OS) for patients randomized to cabozantinib as compared to everolimus.”

Basically it showed a 42 percent cut in the rate of disease progression or death compared to Afinitor.

In November 2015, Exelixis announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved Cotellic (cobimetinib) for patients with BRAF V600E or V600K mutation-positive unresectable or metastatic melanoma in combination with vemurafenib. “The approval for Cotellic for use in combination for vemurafenib is an important milestone for the melanoma community, and also for Exelixis, as it is the second medicine discovered in our laboratories to receive regulatory approval in the United States,” said Michael Morrissey, president and chief executive officer of Exelixis, in a statement. “We look forward to working with Genentech and Roche to bring this important new treatment option for BRAF V600E and V600K mutation-positive advanced melanoma to patients, physicians, and caregivers.”

Feroldi expects Cotellic to be successful, and with its deal with Roche, would receive a good chunk of the initial sales revenue.

Exelixis traded for $2.69 on Feb. 25, 2015, rose to $6.05 on July 21, 2015, then spiked to $6.62 on Aug. 4, 2015. Shares stayed relatively consistent to about Jan. 19, 2016, when they dropped to $4.15. Shares are currently trading for $4.53.

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