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Cramer: This Drug Maker Like Big Pharma in Heyday

Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 | 6:25 PM ET
Cramer on Transformation of Big Pharma
Tuesday, 26 Mar 2013 | 6:25 PM ET
Mad Money host Jim Cramer says Gilead Sciences has a strong pipeline and its Hepatitis C drug could be a game changer.

(Having trouble with the video? Click here!)

With its robust pipeline, Cramer said this company reminded him of a big pharma company during the sector's heyday in the 1990's.

"At that time the major drug companies were innovation factories, constantly churning out new and better drugs," Cramer said.

And he added the stocks themselves traded like growth stocks – at 30 or even 40 times earnings.

Although big cap pharma today is largely a defensive area of the market, Cramer added that large-cap biotech companies seem to be filling the void.

That is, "they have terrific pipelines full of new drugs with enormous growth potential."

And of all the names in the space, Cramer thinks Gilead belongs on your radar.

"First, there's the company's therapy for Hepatitis C," he said.

Hepatitis C is a chronic liver disease that can cause cirrhosis, liver failure, even liver cancer. In the United States alone, 4 million people suffer from Hep C with another 5 million in Europe, and in the entire world the number could be as high as 200 million people.

"Right now, there are treatments for Hepatitis C on the market, but they have horrible side effects and they only work some of the time," Cramer explained. "However, there's a whole new generation of Hep C drugs in the works and Gilead has become the leading contender."

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In addition, Cramer thinks Gilead's core HIV business is another reason to consider the stock.

"Gilead is already the global leader in HIV drugs," Cramer said. Thanks to the cocktail of medications developed by Gilead and others, HIV is no longer a death sentence. Just last August the company got FDA approval for the Quad, which is four of Gilead's HIV medicines combined into a single pill, so Gilead gets all the profits. By 2017, the Quad could do $3.8 billion in sales in the U.S. and another $1.6 billion in Europe."

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Also Cramer cited Gilead's cardiovascular drugs and cancer treatments, including a leukemia drug as other reasons to consider the stock.

Looking at recent performance, Cramer added Gilead may trade like the slow-growth pharma names but it's a rapidly growing biotech and eventually the Street should recognize the potential.

All told, "This stock may have run, but I think it deserves to go much higher," he said.

* Looking for more ideas. On Monday, Cramer said that Celgene was another drug stock that also had upside potential. Click here to go to "Next Pharma Powerhouse?"

Call Cramer: 1-800-743-CNBC

Questions for Cramer? madmoney@cnbc.com

Questions, comments, suggestions for the "Mad Money" website? madcap@cnbc.com

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