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Gilead delivers a “solid quarter” with revenues up $1.52bn

Gilead attributes the revenue rise to its COVID-19 drug, HIV therapy and hepatitis C virus products

Gilead

Gilead Sciences has beaten expectations in the second quarter of 2021. Its revenue increased to $6.2bn in the quarter to June 2021, up by 21% on the same period in 2020 when the company announced losses.

“The second quarter was a solid quarter overall,” said chairman and CEO, Daniel O’Day. “We maintained our positive momentum in the second quarter, with both a solid financial performance and strong progress across our increasingly diverse portfolio.”

Gilead points to its ongoing success with COVID-19 drug Veklury (remdesivir), higher demand for flagship HIV therapy Biktarvy and buoyant sales of its hepatitis C virus products for the revenue rise.

Sales of Veklury were $829m for the second quarter, sharply down from the $1.5bn seen in the previous quarter, reflecting higher vaccination rates and lower infection and hospitalisation in many regions. Veklury remained the therapy of choice in three out of five patients hospitalised with COVID‐19, the company announced.

However, Gilead has decided to halt clinical development of an inhaled version of remdesivir based on disappointing data from a proof-of-concept study.

HIV drug, Biktarvy, saw demand increase in all geographies. “In light of this pandemic impact, Biktarvy's performance is quite encouraging,” said O’Day. “Revenue for the quarter was $2bn, up by 24%, or $390m from the same quarter last year. This more than offset the $322m headwind associated with the impact of the Truvada and Atripla LOEs.”

Truvada sales decreased by 72% from last year to $108m while Atripla fell by 42% to $60m.

Gilead’s hepatitis C virus portfolio saw sales increase by 23% to $549m, while hepatitis B and delta virus product sales increased by 8% to $237m.

Turning to the clinical pipeline, O’Day said: “2021 is a catalyst-heavy year for Gilead and we have delivered all of our key first-half pipeline commitments.” He recapped on some of the company’s pipeline updates including:

  • Data from the landmark ZUMA-7 study for the treatment of second-line large B-cell lymphoma
  • Recent results in virology for lenacapavir, which reinforces its potential as a long-acting therapy for people living with HIV
  • Positive interim results from Hepcludex studies in HDV, which moves the drug closer to a US filing.

Even though the company saw its earnings rise to $1.87 per share, outperforming expectations of $1.76 per share, markets reacted coolly to the news, with its equity falling by just over 2%.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

Hugh Gosling is a healthcare writer and editor

2nd August 2021

From: Research, Healthcare

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