Gilead Sciences' $GILD rival Actelion $ATLN gave full year results today and they were positively received. As ever with biotech and pharmaceutical companies, investors will always want to focus on the pipeline in order to decide whether the stock is worth buying. Going forward the key event driver for Actelion will be Macitentan. Gilead was featured extensively in an in depth article on earnings view. Before going into more detail, it might be worthwhile to understand the background.
Tracleer vs. Letairis in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Actelion is a rival to Gilead because they compete in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). Gilead's Letairis seems to be gaining market share on Actelion's blockbuster drug Tracleer. Interestingly, in an attempt to broaden their indications, both drugs were put into phase III trials for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and both failed last year!
The advantage of Letairis is that it is taken on a once a day regimen (as opposed to twice for Tracleer) and has a more flexible dosing regime. In addition, it has demonstrated a superior liver toxicity profile to Tracleer.
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension