Daiwa SB Investments (DSBI), one of the oldest and largest domestic institutional investment managers in Japan, reduced its stake in Gilead Sciences based on its 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD)

The filing showed that DSBI cut its stake in Gilead Sciences by 2,387 shares or 8.3% during the fourth quarter of 2015. The Japanese institutional investor now owns 26,293 shares in the biopharmaceutical company.

John Martin, the CEO of Gilead Sciences recently sold 100,000 shares of the company at an average price of $97.68 each. He still owns 3,948,068 shares in the company.

An article published on Seeking Alpha suggested that Gilead Sciences’ maturing HCV franchise is facing intense competition, and noted that the franchise already achieved a dramatic EPS growth. The company’s HCV franchise is expected to struggle in maintaining its current earnings this year.

The shares of Gilead Sciences were down more than 1% to $95.06 per share at the time of this writing, around 3:14 in the afternoon in New York. The company lost more than 6% in stock value over the past year.

Other investors boost stake in Gilead Sciences

Several other hedge funds and institutional investors increased their stake in Gilead Sciences during the fourth quarter

Blue Fin Capital boosted its stockholding on the biopharmaceutical company by 2.3% to 8, 272 shares and First American Trust raised its stake in Gilead Sciences by 1.3% to 43,571 shares.

Terra Nova Asset Management bought additional 1,365 shares, bringing its stock holding in the company to a total of 24,370 shares. ING Groep added its stake by 216,203 shares to 1,794,724 shares. Palo Capital purchased additional 860 shares to 15,665 shares.

Gilead Sciences clinical studies

On January 5, the management of Gilead Sciences recently announced its decision to stop its Phase 2 clinical study on the investigational monoclonal antibody simtuzumab among patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The company made its decision after an analysis of unblended efficacy and safety data by the Data Monitoring Committee (DMC) of the study. The DMC recommended the early termination of the clinical study of simtuzumab because of lack of efficacy.

Separately, Gilead Sciences has ongoing Phase 2 studies of simtuzumab in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and primary sclerosing cholangitis. The DMC recommended the continuation of these studies, which have a 96-week endpoint.

Furthermore, Gilead Sciences disclosed that its two Phase 3 clinical trials (Studies 108 and 110) evaluating the investigational use of once-daily tenofovir alafenamide (TAF) 25 mg in treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced adults with HBeAg-negative and HBeAg-positive chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection met their primary objectives.

According to the company, the results of the studies demonstrated that TAF was non-inferior to its Viread (tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, TDF) based on the percentage of patients with HBV DNA levels below 29 IU/mL at 48 weeks of therapy. TAF also showed improved renal and laboratory safety parameters compared to Viread.

“We are pleased that the TAF Phase 3 study results reflect high efficacy and improved renal and bone safety parameters similar to those seen in clinical studies evaluating TAF-based regimens for HIV,” said Norbert Bischofberger, Ph.D. chief scientific officer, and executive vice president of research and development at Gilead Sciences.