On July 25, Gilead released its second quarter earnings report for 2018, achieving operating income of 5.648 billion US dollars. Although it still fell 21% compared with the same period of 2017, it is true that Gilead has continued to fall after several consecutive quarters of revenues. There are signs of stabilizing and stabilizing, compared to 2018Q1 to achieve a more “hard” rise.
Gilead’s expansion benefited from the hepatitis C business, and the business decline was also dragged down by the shrinking of the hepatitis C business. From the performance of five consecutive quarters of revenue, the income of hepatitis C business is most affected by the US market, including AbbVie, Merck’s competitive product impact, and the US government’s price cuts. A good sign is that the decline in income from hepatitis C business is getting smaller and smaller.
Although Gilead has no intention of continuing to invest in the development of new drugs for hepatitis C, the entire liver disease field is still the focus of Gilead. According to Gilead’s quarterly information disclosure, it has reached a cooperation agreement with Hookipa to jointly promote the application of immunotherapy technology based on the sand virus vector in hepatitis B. In addition, Gilead also plans to disclose the company’s progress in the field of nonalcoholic fatty liver treatment at this year’s International Liver Disease Conference.
Gilead, the overlord of antiviral drugs, stabilized its performance this quarter. On the one hand, the decline in the income of the hepatitis C business was narrowed, on the other hand, it was a significant increase in the AIDS business, and the quarterly revenue hit a new high of 3.665 billion.
Of the total income of the AIDS business in this quarter, 70% was contributed by the new drug Descovy (Entrotaxa + TAF). The newly launched Biktarvy (bictegravir + emtricitabine + TAF) in February this year is an upgraded version of Descovy, which also contributed $180 million in the first full quarter. More than 85% of Biktarvy’s sales revenue is derived from the original patient’s therapy upgrade.
Hepatitis C and AIDS business are considered to be Gilead’s traditional strengths. Another major cause of Gilead’s disease is cancer, including $11.9 billion in acquisitions of Kite to enter the CAR-T track. In the first half of 2018, Yecsrta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) generated sales of $108 million, much higher than Novartis Kymriah’s $28 million. Yescarta was approved for listing in the United States in October 2017. As of June 30 this year, Yescarta has been admitted to 61 cancer centers in the United States, with a target patient coverage rate of 80%.
Yecsrta has already received a positive recommendation from CHMP in Europe and is expected to be listed in Europe in the third quarter of this year. In the quarterly report, Gilead disclosed that it will set up a 117,000-square-foot production plant in the Netherlands to maintain sales of the product in Europe, and the new production room will be put into use in 2020.
Kite signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Sangamo Therapeutic this quarter. Through this collaboration, Kite will use Sangamo’s ZFN technology to modify genes to develop next-generation cell therapies for autologous and allogeneic treatment of different cancers. Under the terms of the agreement, Sangamo will receive a $150 million advance payment and is eligible for up to $3.01 billion in potential payments (based on the development, regulatory and promotional milestones of more than 10 products using Sangamo technology). Up to now, Gilead’s research and development pipeline has introduced a number of oncology drugs.