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Gilead sales rise by 13%, buoyed by anti-COVID-19 drug Veklury

The company has had a ‘very strong’ third quarter in spite of a sharp decline in its HIV portfolio due to generic competition

Gilead has reported third-quarter sales of $7.4bn, an increase of 13% compared to the same period last year, due to increased demand for its COVID-19 antiviral Veklury (remdesivir).

Without the Veklury bump, total product sales decreased by 3% to $5.4bn for the third quarter, primarily due to the loss of exclusivity of HIV combination therapies Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil) and Atripla (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir) in the United States. The drop was also partially offset by a 20% increase to $2.3bn from Biktarvy (bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir) and Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy), said Gilead.

Veklury saw sales of $1.9bn, more than double that of the second quarter of the year ($829m), as more than two million people received the drug or generic remdesivir.

“This was a very strong third quarter with continued positive momentum for both our commercial performance and our pipeline progress,” said Daniel O’Day, chairman and CEO. “Veklury is making a significant impact as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. The dynamics of the HIV treatment market further improved and this contributed to record Biktarvy revenue.”

O’Day also focused on the company’s oncology drugs and said: “Our marketed portfolio continues to expand with four new country approvals for Trodelvy for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, the approval of Tecartus in relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and two new trial starts for magrolimab in solid tumours.”

Its cell therapy products were a big success for Gilead, with sales increasing by 51% to $222m in the third quarter. Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) reached $175m in relapsed/refractory large B-cell lymphoma and relapsed/refractory indolent follicular lymphoma in both the US and Europe.

Sales of Tecartus (brexucabtagene autoleucel) saw $47m in mantle cell lymphoma and Trodelvy hit $101m, reflecting increased use for the second-line treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and metastatic urothelial cancer in the US.

Gilead has updated its full-year guidance and now expects total product sales of up to $26.3bn in 2021, up from $24.4bn in 2020. While total products sales excluding Veklury are expected to be down slightly at $21.5bn (compared to $21.7bn in 2020), sales of the anti-COVID antiviral are expected to reach $4.8bn based on expected hospitalisation rates.

Although Gilead’s earnings were slightly above analysts’ predictions, the company’s share price fell by 3%.

Article by
Hugh Gosling

1st November 2021

From: Sales

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