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4 May, 2021 - 22:27 By Tony Quested

Gilead Sciences hoists Q1 revenue to $6.4bn

Biopharma company Gilead Sciences, whose Cambridge UK division is based at Granta Park, increased Q1 revenues 16 per cent year-on-year to $6.4 billion and returned $1.2bn to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Daniel O’Day, chairman and CEO, says there is more innovation to come as the business reels out a varied and prolific pipeline. He said: “We have made strong progress in this first quarter with our new partnership with Merck in long-acting HIV therapies, two newly approved indications in the US for Trodelvy in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and metastatic urothelial cancer, and the addition of Hepcludex to our portfolio. 

“2021 is a pivotal year for Gilead, with key milestones across our virology and oncology portfolios. We’re looking forward to advancing our pipeline of promising therapies in the coming months.”

As of March 31, Gilead had $6.2bn of cash, equivalents and marketable debt securities compared to $7.9bn a December 31.During the first quarter 2021, Gilead generated $2.6 billion in operating cash flow.

During the first quarter 2021, Gilead repaid $1.3 billion of debt, utilised $1.3 billion on acquisitions, net of cash acquired, including in-process R & D, paid cash dividends of $917m and utilised $309m on repurchases of common stock.

The Q1 revenue  growth was primarily due to Veklury® (remdesivir) sales, Cell Therapy growth with Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) and the US launch of Tecartus® (brexucabtagene autoleucel) in the third quarter 2020, the first full quarter recognition of Trodelvy®(sacituzumab govitecan-hziy 180 mg) sales, and Hepatitis B virus (“HBV”) growth with Vemlidy® (tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg).

Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS) rose 12 per cent to $1.37 for Q1 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, primarily driven by revenue growth, partially offset by fair value loss adjustments related to Gilead’s equity investment in Galapagos NV and lower interest income.

Total first quarter 2021 product sales increased 16 per cent to $6.3bn compared to the same period in 2020. Total product sales excluding Veklury decreased 11 per cent to $4.9bn for Q1 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, with contributions from new product launches such as Tecartus and Trodelvy offset by loss of exclusivity of Truvada® (emtricitabine 200 mg (“FTC”) and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate 300 mg (“TDF”)) and Atripla®(efavirenz 600 mg/FTC/TDF) in the United States and COVID-19 pandemic-related impacts in both HIV and hepatitis C virus (“HCV”).

HIV product sales fell 12 per cent to $3.7bn for the first quarter 2021 compared to the corresponding period in 2020, reflecting the expected loss of exclusivity of Truvada and Atripla in the US, in addition to channel inventory dynamics including COVID-19 pandemic-related stocking in the first quarter 2020. HCV product sales were down 30 per cent to $510m. Sales volumes were impacted by lower patient starts in the United States and Europe associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

HBV and hepatitis delta virus (“HDV”) Q1 2021 product sales were up 18 per cent to $220m against Q1 2020. Vemlidy sales rose 33 per cent in the same period. Hepcludex® (bulevirtide) contributed $6m in sales subsequent to Gilead’s acquisition of MYR GmbH (“MYR”), representing a partial quarter of sales.

Cell Therapy product sales increased 36 per cent to $191m for the first quarter.

Trodelvy sales for Q1 2021 were $72 million, representing the first full quarter of sales for Gilead. Veklury sales were $1.5bn over the same period. Sales of Veklury are generally affected by COVID-19 related rates of infections, hospitalisations and vaccinations. Other product sales decreased 13 per cent to $241m in the quarter.

R & D expenses for the first quarter 2021 were $1,055 million compared to $1,004 million in the same period in 2020. 

Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

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