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Global Blood (GBT) Shares Double in a Year, Focus on Oxbryta

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Shares of Global Blood Therapeutics GBT have surged 98.7% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 8.7%.


In November 2019, the FDA approved its lead candidate voxelotor as an oral, once-daily treatment for SCD in patients aged 12 years or above. The drug will be marketed by the trade name Oxbryta. The approval comes almost three months ahead of the scheduled action date of Feb 26, 2020. SCD is a chronic, inherited blood disorder that affects hemoglobin levels.

Following this, Oxbryta became the first approved therapy that directly inhibits sickle hemoglobin polymerization, a major cause for SCD.

The company has another pipeline candidate, inclacumab, a novel fully human monoclonal antibody against P-selectin, in its portfolio. The drug is being developed as a treatment for vaso-occlusive crises (“VOC”) in patients with SCD. The company is developing inclacumab with drug giant Roche Holding AG RHHBY.

However, Global Blood has only one approved product in its portfolio. If voxelotor does not do well, the business will be significantly affected, as inclacumab is in the early stages of development.

The company is also battling stiff competition. Novartis’ NVS drug Adakveo (crizanlizumab) was also approved by the FDA in November 2019 to reduce the frequency of VOCs, or pain crises, in adult and pediatric patients aged 16 years or above with SCD.

Zacks Rank and a Stock to Consider

Global Blood currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Another better-ranked stock in the biotech sector is Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alexion’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $1.59 to $2.03 for 2019 and from $1.22 to $1.34 for 2020 in the past 90 days.


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