Gilead and its controversially expensive Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) hepatitis C drug is set to gain a major new market, Japan and its half-million people with the type the drug treats, though other major drugmakers are in or eyeing the same market.
Gilead Sciences has been able to withstand scathing criticism at home over the prices of its hep C cures, negotiate with stingy price watchdogs abroad and face down criticism in developing countries by giving generics producers access to formulations and technology. But can it stand up to a possible attack by the U.S. military?
Gilead Sciences has moved into epigenetic research by acquiring EpiTherapeutics for $65 million (€57 million) in cash. The deal gives it access to science originated at a team headed by Kristian Helin, a lauded oncology epigenetics expert and founder of Denmark's Biotech Research and Innovation Centre.
It's fitting that Gilead's star hep C drug Harvoni is grabbing the spotlight in its first direct-to-consumer TV ads. The television, print and digital ad campaign--tagged "I am Ready"--began April 20 and will run through the end of the year, said David Johnson, Gilead VP, U.S. sales and marketing for liver diseases, in an email interview.
It's the big numbers that tend to make headlines during earnings season: Overall sales, top-selling meds, and, of course, earnings per share. Some closely watched new drugs have a moment in the sun, too. But other launches? Barely a glimpse--if any at all. Here's a roundup of the launch stats that caught our eyes.
Gilead Sciences brushed aside any concerns about the effects of discounting of superseller hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni by blasting past analysts' earnings estimates of how much the drugs would sell, total revenues, earnings per share, and just about any other measure the markets could dig up. And flush with cash, Gilead execs say, it just may be time to go out and buy some stuff.
While pharma's been riding its deal wave, Gilead's been off on its own, coasting on new revenue from blockbuster hep C launches Sovaldi and Harvoni. But one analysts thinks the time is ripe for it to get in on the M&A action--and he's tabbed Vertex as a prime target.
The U.S. drug market is the largest in the world and just about every drugmaker wants the biggest piece of it that it can get. For 2014 that honor goes to biotech Gilead Sciences, whose hep C drugs vaulted it to the top, according to PMLiVE based on sales info from GlobalData.
Think we've seen a hepatitis C drug price war? Think again. This first round of pay-to-play formulary deals may pale in comparison to what's coming next year, as Merck & Co. gets closer to launching its two-drug combo pill.
Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) has approved Gilead's Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) for the suppression of viremia in chronic hepatitis C virus, marking the first all-oral, interferon-free treatment regimen for genotype 2 HCV infection and the first product to be marketed by Gilead in Japan.