Bullish options flow was detected in GILD stock on February 21, 2020. 92,710 calls were traded, 3x expected, and implied vol increased more than 4 points to over 32.5%. 2/28 weekly $69 calls and 3/6 weekly $70 calls were the most active options, with total volume in those strikes over 13,600 contracts.

The bad news about the growing coronavirus outbreak in South Korea and Italy pushed GILD stock higher on February 21, 2020, and was likely responsible for the bullish options flow.

Back on February 13, 2020, a study was published showing that an experimental Gilead antiviral drug prevented disease and reduced the severity of symptoms in monkeys infected with MERS, an infection closely related to the coronavirus, Reuters’ Julie Steenhuysen reports.

The results, which were reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, raised hopes that the treatment remdesivir, which is presently in clinical trials in China, might be effective against coronavirus, Steenhuysen says.

“It wasn’t successful in Ebola, but there is some indication that it might be successful in the coronaviruses,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a recent interview, according to Reuters. Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-health-gilead-sciences/gilead-drug-prevents-type-of-coronavirus-in-monkeys-raises-hope-for-china-trials-idUSKBN2072YN?il=0

On February 18, 2020, clinical trials being conducted in Wuhan to test Gilead’s antiviral drug for the new coronavirus were going more slowly than hoped for as the drugmaker struggled to recruit qualified patients, The Wall Street Journal’s Fanfan Wang reports.

According to the report, the trials, which are aimed at testing more than 700 patients infected with the Wuhan coronavirus, have succeeded in recruiting fewer than 200 people after 10 days. A total of 168 patients with severe symptoms, and 17 patients with mild and moderate symptoms, were recruited at 11 medical institutes across Wuhan, Zhang Xinmin, an official from China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, said at a Saturday press conference. Source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/gileads-coronavirus-drug-trial-slowed-due-to-lack-of-eligible-recruits-11582003594

Large players volume surged higher on February 21, 2020. Large players volume has been rising in GILD stock since early October 2019.