© Reuters. File photo: During the Coronavirus Disease (CO) outbreak, Gilead Sciences Inc.
By Dina Beasley
(Reuters)-Gilead Sciences announced a higher-than-expected second-quarter profit on Thursday, thanks to strong demand for its COVID-19 antiviral treatment Veklury, but due to the pandemic continuing to restrict access, its Sales of flagship HIV drugs are lagging behind to doctors.
Sales of HIV medicines that stagnated during the coronavirus pandemic fell by 2% to $3.9 billion.
Gilead (NASDAQ:) Chief Commercial Officer Johanna Mercier said in a conference call with analysts that HIV sales in Europe have begun to recover, but demand in the US has slowed. “It is clear that it will take several quarters for treatment to return to pre-pandemic levels,” she said.
Gilead shares closed at 69.83 US dollars, down more than 2% in after-hours trading.
Gilead announced adjusted quarterly earnings of US$1.87 per share, beating Wall Street’s expectations by 12 cents.
According to data from Refinitiv, the biotechnology company’s total revenue for the quarter increased 21% from the same period last year to 6.2 billion U.S. dollars, slightly higher than the average analyst estimate of 6.07 billion U.S. dollars.
Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets analyst Brian said that the results “driven by the online performance of its core products and the strength of Veklury proved that their portfolio is capable of hedging any COVID-related headwinds. Tumor and Type C The hepatitis business is encouragingly robust,” Abrahams said in a research report.
Veklury, chemically known as Remdesivir, had sales of $829 million in the quarter, easily surpassing Wall Street’s estimate of $675 million.
Gilead said that Veklury’s sales will continue to be affected by uncertainty because they are closely related to the COVID-19 hospitalization rate. The company also stated that it no longer seeks to develop inhaled drugs for COVID-19.
CEO Daniel O’Day stated that Veklury administered intravenously to hospitalized patients is effective against all known variants of the coronavirus, adding that the company will continue to develop other pipeline products for use in Treat COVID-19 outside the hospital environment.
Gilead’s hepatitis C drug sales rebounded this quarter, increasing by 23% to US$549 million.
For the full year of 2021, Gilead lowered its adjusted earnings per share forecast from US$6.75 to US$7.45 to US$6.90 to US$7.25.
The company said that it now expects product sales this year to be between 24.4 billion and 25 billion U.S. dollars, compared with previous estimates of 23.7 billion to 25.1 billion U.S. dollars.
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