Gilead Q3 revenue stagnates, drops late-stage COVID-19 and AML trials

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Gilead Sciences

Gilead Q3 revenue stagnates, drops late-stage COVID-19 and AML trials

In the third quarter, Gilead‘s growth in its HIV and oncology businesses was nearly completely offset by declining sales from its COVID-19 drug Veklury (remdesivir) and hepatitis C virus portfolio.

Gilead reported $7.1 billion in third-quarter revenue, which was flat compared to the same period last year, according to the company’s announcement late Tuesday. Its total product sales for the most recent quarter amounted to $7 billion, which also represented no notable growth or decline from the same period in 2022. Excluding the company’s COVID-19 therapy Veklury, total product sales grew by 5%.

Gilead’s HIV franchise brought in $4.7 billion in the third quarter, which was a 4% increase from the same period last year. This was primarily driven by Biktarvy (bictegravir/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide), with revenue growing 12% year-over-year to a little more than $3 billion, while Descovy (emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide) grew 2%.

Cell therapies likewise contributed to Gilead’s bottom line, with its $486 million revenue representing a 22% growth from the third quarter of 2022. Sales of Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), indicated for large B-cell lymphoma, grew 23% to $391 million, while the acute lymphoblastic leukemia therapy Tecartus (brexucabtagene autoleuce) captured $96 million, an 18% increase from last year.

Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy), another Gilead cancer asset, also performed well in the third quarter. The anti-Trop-2 antibody secured $283 million, or 58% growth.

However, completely off-setting the growth of Gilead’s HIV, cancer and cell therapy businesses was the sharp decline in its COVID-19 therapy Veklury. In the most recent quarter, Veklury brought in $636 million, which represents a 31% drop from the same period the prior year. According to Gilead, this was driven primarily by “lower rates of COVID-19 related hospitalizations.”

The company’s liver disease portfolio likewise sustained a 10% decline, capturing only $706 million in the third quarter.

In its third-quarter report, Gilead also announced that it was discontinuing the Phase III BIRCH trial of obeldesivir in non-hospitalized patients who are at high risk of severe COVID-19. Obeldesivir is still being studied in the Phase III OAKTREE trial in non-hospitalized patients who have no risk factors for severe COVID-19.

The decision to drop BIRCH was due to “lower-than-expected COVID-19 incidence rates and related hospitalizations or all-cause death,” according to the company’s press announcement, and was not driven by safety or efficacy issues.

Gilead is also discontinuing the Phase III ENHANCE-2 study, looking at magrolimab as a first-line option for acute myeloid leukemia patients harboring TP53 mutations.

Nonetheless, taking overall portfolio performance into consideration, Gilead refined its full-year guidance and raised the company’s total product sales outlook to $26.7 billion to $26.9 billion, up from a previous estimate of $26.3 billion to $26.7 billion.

Tristan Manalac is an independent science writer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. He can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].

Source: BioSpace