Gilead Sciences has biotech balms for infectious diseases, including hepatitis, HIV, and infections related to AIDS. The company's HIV franchise includes Truvada, a combination of two of its other drugs, Viread and Emtriva. It co-promotes another HIV treatment, called Atripla, in the US and Europe with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Other products on the market include AmBisome, used to treat systemic fungal infections such as those that accompany AIDS or kidney disease; Vistide, for AIDS-related eye infections; and hepatitis B antiviral Hepsera. Beyond HIV/AIDS, Gilead also markets cardiovascular drugs Letairis and Ranexa, as well as respiratory and ophthalmic medicines.
The US market accounts for more than 55% of Gilead's annual revenues. The company has other significant operations in European countries including France, the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland.
Though Gilead is steadily working to expand its medicines in fields such as cancer, liver disease, and cardiovascular, metabolic, and pulmonary diseases, the company's main source of revenue continues to be its antiviral franchise, which contributes more than 80% of product sales and primarily consists of HIV medications. New product launches in antiviral fields include the introduction of HIV drugs Complera/Eviplera in 2011 and Stribild in 2012.
Aside from the Atripla partnership with BMS, Gilead has collaborations with other companies including Japan Tobacco, which promotes HIV drugs Truvada, Viread, and Emtriva in Japan, and with GlaxoSmithKline, which markets Hepsera, Viread, and Volbris in select international markets. Additionally, Gilead Sciences receives royalties on influenza treatment Tamiflu, which it developed with Roche, and on Macugen, an ophthalmologic drug developed by Eyetech using Gilead's technology. In addition to distributing AmBisome in Canada and the US, Astellas pays royalties on US sales of Lexiscan, which is used in stress tests for coronary artery disease.
Sales and Marketing
Gilead promotes its antiviral drugs through its own commercial infrastructure in North America, some European and Asian countries, and in Australia and New Zealand; products are promoted through partnerships in other regions. Customers include physicians, hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities. The company's product distribution processes are handled primarily by wholesalers, including Cardinal Health (20% of revenues), McKesson, (15%), and AmerisourceBergen (11%).
Increased sales of antiviral products have provided healthy revenue increases for Gilead in recent years, with the antiviral segment accounting for most of Gilead's 16% sales increase to some $9.7 billion in 2012. Sales of Atripla and Truvada have especially shown growth, with Atripla rising to above $3 billion in annual sales in 2011 and Truvada following suit in 2012. Newly launched HIV offerings have also boosted Gilead's revenues in recent years, as have higher royalty revenues and increased sales of AmBisome, Ranexa, and Letairis. However, net income decreased for the second year in a row in 2012, declining 8% to some $2.6 billion due to increased R&D expenses and acquisition costs.
One of the pitfalls of the pharma manufacturing business is patent expirations, where older medications see a decline in sales as they begin to face generic competition. Other medications struggle to penetrate highly saturated markets. To offset potential losses from these challenges, Gilead is working to increase sales of top selling products in new territories. With partner BMS, the firm is especially focused on increasing international commercialization of Atripla. In addition, Gilead works to get existing medications approved for new medical indications.
The company also works to launch new or next-generation drugs to freshen its lineup of patent-protected offerings. The company's development programs include potential treatments for viral infections, liver disease, respiratory and cardiovascular ailments, and various cancers. Gilead also conducts R&D efforts through collaborations; for instance, it has a development partnership with Japan Tobacco on new HIV drugs.
Mergers and Acquisitions
As yet another way of fending off losses from patent expirations, Gilead Sciences has diversified its product line through acquisitions.
The company made a bold diversification move in early 2012 when it purchased Pharmasset, a development firm with a promising pipeline of hepatitis C candidates, for some $11 billion. Following the purchase, Pharmasset's operations were integrated into the Gilead organization.
In early 2013 Gilead completed another deal, this time purchasing YM BioSciences for some $510 million. The purchase added clinical development programs for oncology therapies in the field of hematologic cancers.
Capital Research Global Investors owns an 11% stake in Gilead Sciences.