Gilead Sciences has announced its acquisition of CymaBay Therapeutics for a staggering $4.3 billion. The deal not only marks a significant investment for Gilead but also grants it access to CymaBay’s pioneering liver disease treatment, propelling the company into a potentially lucrative market.
Shares of CymaBay soared by 24.6% to reach an all-time high of $32.01 during morning trading on Monday, outstripping the offered price of $32.50 per share. Meanwhile, Gilead’s stocks also experienced a modest uptick of 1.1% to $74.49 following the announcement. The acquisition positions Gilead to acquire CymaBay’s leading experimental drug, seladelpar, which analysts estimate could generate sales upwards of $1.9 billion by 2029, pending approval.
“This transaction helps (Gilead) continue to paint the story for growth beyond their core HIV business,” remarked BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan Seigerman, underlining the strategic importance of the move for Gilead’s future expansion.
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The focus of the acquisition lies in seladelpar’s potential to address primary biliary cholangitis, a chronic inflammatory liver disease, for which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing its suitability as a treatment. A decision from the FDA is anticipated by August 14th. This acquisition comes at a critical juncture for Gilead, as the company grapples with recent setbacks in its clinical trials, reported Reuters.
The setbacks include the failure of Gilead’s experimental oral COVID antiviral treatment, obeldesivir, to meet its primary endpoint in trials involving non-hospitalized patients. Additionally, the cancer drug Trodelvy, intended to enhance survival rates among previously treated patients with a specific type of lung cancer, did not demonstrate significant efficacy.
Adding to its challenges, the U.S. health regulator recently placed a hold on trials assessing Gilead’s blood cancer drug, citing an increased risk of patient mortality observed in certain studies.
The acquisition of CymaBay Therapeutics underscores Gilead’s commitment to diversifying its product offerings and expanding its presence in the pharmaceutical market.