Gilead’s $10 Billion Worth of Problems: #PharmExecTopTweets

September 14, 2015

Biopharma investment pundits have been having a field day, all but certain that Gilead will make a big (possibly transformative) move soon. Casey McDonald looks at reactions in the Twittersphere.

Mo’ money mo’ problems is the common refrain from my childhood. Apparently, Gilead’s management hail’s from a slightly different era. Biopharma investment pundits have been having a field day - all but certain the company that took #1 spot on PharmExec’s yearly industry audit will make a big (possibly transformative) move soon. M&A gossip abounds about Gilead’s $10bn debt offering that according to the company’s PR is intended for “general corporate purposes”.

Gilead Sciences $GILD Gains as $10B Bond Deal Has Takeover Rumors Swirling $INCY$VRTX

- (@Street_Insider) September 10, 2015

Could Major Acquisition Boost Gilead?$INCY$VRTX$GILD

- Seeking Alpha (@SeekingAlpha) September 12, 2015

Several reports noted that top objects of Gilead’s desire could be Vertex or Incyte, among others. Gilead management left things vague. They confirmed that deals are possible (aren’t they always?), and that deals could be small or transformative. Also, some see a deeper commitment to liver indications, others see oncology, and others predict a rare disease play.

$GILD raises $10 billion, stoking fresh rumors of a monster acquisition:$VRTX$BMRN$ALXN

- BioPharma Dive (@BioPharmaDive) September 11, 2015

Sarcasm can be hard to detect on Twitter. Is Bristol-Myers Squibb a target?

$GILD should buy $BMY.

- Adam Feuerstein (@adamfeuerstein) September 10, 2015

or GSK?

Why has nobody suggested $GILD buy $GSK?

- Matthew Herper (@matthewherper) September 10, 2015

@matthewherper Or even better. $GILD should buy all of the drugs $GSK has thrown away or sitting on their lab shelves.

- Adam Feuerstein (@adamfeuerstein) September 10, 2015

Twitter consensus might center on Vertex, but not all agree. @PropThinker doesn’t get the hype.

I don't get why the street is so enamored with $GILD buying $VRTX.

- PropThink (@PropThinker) September 10, 2015

Neither does @DewDiligence.

@PropThinker Neither do I. If $GILD buys $VRTX, I'll stop posting and tweeting about biotech.

- Roy Friedman (@DewDiligence) September 10, 2015

If Vertex really is a target, could we see a bidding war?

@hydrogenblimp$BIIB & $GILD can get into a bidding war for $VRTX

- Adam Feuerstein (@adamfeuerstein) September 11, 2015

Early September does mark a new season of conferences, including several investment conferences like Rodman & Renshaw (H.C. Wainwright) and BioCentury’s NewsMakers both in New York. Lots of eyes were on relative Alzheimer’s newcomer, Axovant who teed up the biotech bubble discussion with its $315 million IPO in June.

$AXON's pivotal study starts 4Q15 and reads sometime in 2017.

- Brad Loncar (@bradloncar) September 10, 2015

Featured by Forbes

Boy in the bubble? Vivek Ramaswamy is the cover of @Forbes, by @nathanvardi and me.

- Matthew Herper (@matthewherper) September 9, 2015

ICER Report In case you missed it, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) chimed in on the price of Sanofi/Regeneron’s Praluent, and Amgen Repatha, the industry’s next battle line. ICER’s price point, $2,180 for drugs that the manufacturers will start at $14,600 and $14,100, respectively.

By @icer_review the price of PCSK mAbs is >6-fold accepted standard

- Eric Topol (@EricTopol) September 9, 2015

Some will point to flaws in the report.

Don't jump to conclusions-cost effectiveness findings on PCSK9 class flawed; #ICER has left patients behind

- Joe Antos (@joeantos) September 9, 2015

And others, like @AdveraHealthJD think adverse events are being overlooked in the conversation.

First report by @icer_review on PCSK9's. Would have like to see cost of AEs included though.

- Jim Davis (@AdveraHealthJD) September 9, 2015

To see the report:

@icer_review releases report on PCSK9 inhibitors including draft ICER value-based price benchmark:

- ICER (@icer_review) September 8, 2015

The Kaiser poll was also a Twitter talking point, with 86% of those polled thinking drug companies should “release information to the public on how they set their drug prices” and 83% in favor of letting federal government negotiate for lower price on medications for people on Medicare.

Poll: Large majorities favor 4 policy changes to curb drug costs

- Kaiser Family Found (@KaiserFamFound) September 10, 2015

Get read for this to enter into the political discussion, as price the path to price control is well underway.

Pretty spot on given this- #BernieSanders to intro bill targeting high drug prices via @WSJ

- Pharm Exec Magazine (@PharmExecutive) September 11, 2015