Gilead Sciences First-Quarter Profits Driven by Increase in Sales of Antiretroviral Viread
Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences on Thursday announced first-quarter 2004 net profits of $114.4 million, up from a net loss of $438.1 million during the same quarter last year, an increase largely driven by sales of its antiretroviral drug Viread, Reuters reports (Berkrot/Pierson, Reuters, 4/22). Gilead -- which manufactures Viread, the fifth best-selling antiretroviral drug in the United States -- in July 2003 launched a second antiretroviral drug, Emtriva, and is developing a once-daily combination pill to compete with industry leader GlaxoSmithKline's top-selling Combivir (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/30/03). Sales of Viread increased 80% to $193.1 million during the first quarter of 2004, and the company raised its yearly sales forecast for the drug to between $725 million and $775 million. In addition, sales of Emtriva reached $12 million in the first quarter. The company also said it plans to start clinical trials of a new protease inhibitor, according to Reuters (Reuters, 4/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.