Gilead's Q2 sales jump 21% driven by COVID-19 drug Veklury

Headline results for the second quarter:

  • Revenue: $6.2 billion (forecasts of $6.1 billion), up 21%
  • Profit: $1.5 billion, up from a loss of $3.3 billion

Note: All changes are versus the prior-year period unless otherwise stated

What the company said:

"We maintained our positive momentum in the second quarter," commented CEO Daniel O'Day, noting that the company's "flagship HIV therapy Biktarvy saw continued growth and gains in market share, despite the ongoing impact of the [COVID-19] pandemic."

Gilead said revenue growth in the quarter was mostly due to Veklury, its antiviral therapy for COVID-19, noting that without the drug, sales were up 5% to $5.3 billion. The company also highlighted higher demand for its hepatitis C virus products during the quarter, as well as continued uptake in the US of its Trop-2-targeting antibody-drug conjugate Trodelvy and the CAR-T therapy Tecartus.

Other results:

  • Total HIV product sales: $3.9 billion, down 2%, reflecting the loss of exclusivity of Truvada and Atripla in the US late last year
    • Biktarvy: $2 billion, up from $1.6 billion, boosted by higher demand in all geographies
    • Genvoya: $706 million, down from $816 million
    • Descovy: $435 million, up from $417 million, driven by increased PrEP demand in the US
    • Odefsey: $382 million, no change
    • Truvada: $108 million, down from $387 million
  • Total hepatitis C product sales: $549 million, up 23%, reflecting improved market starts in the US and Europe, as well as an unfavourable change in estimate of government rebates in the second quarter of 2020
    • Epclusa and authorised generic version: $442 million, up from $335 million
    • Harvoni and authorised generic version: $62 million, down from $67 million
  • Veklury: $829 million, topping estimates of $675 million, but coming in lower than it did in the first quarter of 2021 when it generated $1.5 billion
  • Cell therapy products: $219 million, up 39%
    • Yescarta: $178 million, up from $156 million, reflecting continued uptake in indolent follicular lymphoma in the US following its approval there in the first quarter, as well as expansion in Europe
    • Tecartus: $41 million, up from $1 million, driven by the launch in mantle cell lymphoma in the US and Europe
  • Trodelvy: $89 million, as launch activities continue following the full FDA approval for second-line metastatic triple-negative breast cancer and accelerated approval in metastatic urothelial cancer

Looking ahead:

Gilead now anticipates total product sales between $24.4 billion and $25 billion for the year, compared to the range of $23.7 billion to $25.1 billion forecast in April. It said Veklury is now expected to bring in between $2.7 billion and $3.1 billion, compared to $2 billion to $3 billion previously, reflecting the drug's ongoing role in the pandemic, plus "continued uncertainties around the path of the pandemic since Veklury revenue tends to track hospitalisation rates."

Excluding Veklury, Gilead says product sales should be between $21.7 billion and $21.9 billion, which is about $200 million lower at the top end than it had previously projecting, mainly due to a "longer-than-expected" pandemic impact on the HIV business, including the latest increase in COVID-19 cases. Chief commercial officer Johanna Mercier said while HIV sales in Europe have begun to recover, US demand has been slower, and "it is clear that it will take several quarters for treatment to return to pre-pandemic levels."

Meanwhile, Gilead also narrowed its full-year earning per share outlook to between $6.90 and $7.25 from a previous forecast ranging from $6.75 to $7.45 per share.

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