Genomic Technologies and New Treatments for Hepatitis C Lead Stock Winners for 2013: A Top Ten Wall Street Transcript Interview with David Ferreiro, Executive Director and Senior Analyst at Oppenheimer & Company

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - December 9, 2013 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Top Ten Equity Analyst Interviews of 2013 Report. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with highly experienced Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Hepatitis C Innovations in Biotechnology

Companies include: Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD), Biogen Idec Inc. (BIIB), Celgene Corporation (CELG), Amgen Inc. (AMGN), Illumina Inc. (ILMN), Life Technologies Corporation (LIFE), Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ARIA), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ALXN), YM BioSciences Inc. (YMI), Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc (ACHN)

In the following excerpt from the Top Ten Equity Analyst Interviews 2013 Report, this experienced and award winning Biotech research analyst discusses his top picks in 2013 in the sector for investors:

...My background is, I'm a scientist. I studied microbiology and immunology, that's what my Ph.D. is in. And there are pretty broad applications to human disease there. I mean, you pretty much take those two disciplines and apply them to the majority of disease.

TWST: What kinds of treatments or diagnostics or specific drugs or diagnostics are you most excited about and keeping the closest eye on this year?

Dr. Ferreiro: It's a good question. I'd say, this kind of would speak to what a good idea would be as well. I'd say the company that I have the most conviction in within the biotech space is still Gilead (GILD), and they have a lot going on in their pipeline. The investor interests over the past year or more around the hepatitis C space, or HCV space, has been tremendous.

And certainly Gilead has been leading that charge since they acquired Pharmasset early last year. And so I'd say that this is not an unknown to the investor base. The market opportunity is enormous in HCV. So I'd say that the group of drugs that Gilead has are probably the ones that I'm most interested in. And the reason for that is - the reason there is such an opportunity in HCVs is that there's a huge unmet medical need. There is a large reservoir of patients out there in developed world, in both the U.S. and EU. And the current standard of care is frankly just - it's mostly intolerable and long in duration and very difficult for patients to take, and it doesn't always work. So there is a huge need to bring new drugs to market that are much more tolerable, much shorter duration and are efficacious, and that's where pharma has been developing pretty heavily. It's trying to meet that need.

Gilead has few drugs in development that seem to work in a range of genotypes. In addition, they have thus far proven to be very safe. And the duration has moved down from just under a year, which is at the current standard of care to 12 to 24 weeks right now with the potential to go lower, so I'd say that's probably the biggest opportunity out there for Gilead.

We already understand this to be a huge opportunity, but there are ways that it can be bigger. For example, we are all still relatively conservative about how well new therapies can penetrate that market. I think that's the unknown, and could bring much higher reward to the investor.

Also, there are a few companies that are developing in this space at the same time...

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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