By Deena Beasley and Michael Erman
(Reuters) – Gilead Sciences Inc. reported worse-than-expected quarterly results on Thursday, but boosted its 2020 sales forecast to include revenue from its antiviral drug remdesivir, one of the only treatments shown to help patients with COVID- 19.
Gilead said it expects total 2020 sales of $ 23 billion to $ 25 billion, up from the previous $ 21.8 billion to $ 22.2 million.
“We believe this involves up to $ 1 billion to $ 3 billion of remdesivir, … a positive that was not expected earlier this year,” said Jefferies analyst Michael Yee.
According to Refinitiv data, Gilead’s second-quarter sales fell nearly 10% from the previous year to $ 5.1 billion, lower than analysts ’average estimate of $ 5.3 trillion.
The results reflected weak sales of Gilead hepatitis C drugs and HIV antiviral treatments during coronavirus pandemic blockages. The company said it expects sales of HIV and hepatitis C drugs to begin to pick up momentum in the current third-third quarter.
Adjusted second-quarter earnings of $ 1.11 per share fell to analysts ’average estimate by 34 cents.
Shares of Gilead, which closed close to 1% in regular trading, fell 3.5% to $ 69.80 in extended trading.
Gilead HIV sales in the second quarter fell 1% from the previous year to $ 4 billion, while sales of hepatitis C drugs fell 47% to $ 448 million due to fewer new patients and competition from rival drugs.
This month, Gilead began commercial sales of remdesivir, which is provided to hospitalized patients by infusion. The drug was authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May after it demonstrated the ability to shorten hospital stays in patients with COVID-19, but it does not yet have the full approval of the United States. It was approved in Japan.
Demand for remdesivir continues to outstrip supply in many parts of the world.
Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day, at a conference, said the company expects it to produce good production by the end of September to meet global demand in real time.
Gilead said he still expects to accumulate 2 million or more remdesive treatment courses cumulatively in 2020, and his revenue outlook reflects projected sales of up to 1.5 million courses this year.
The company said it has launched a clinical trial on an inhaled formulation of remdesivir, with the aim of delivering the drug more effectively to lung tissue. Gilead also plans to study the drug in patients with COVID-19 in the earlier phase.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is currently conducting a remdesivir trial in combination with Olumiant, an arthritis drug from Eli Lilly & Co, and results are expected next month. it comes.
To date, only remdesivir and the generic steroid dexamethasone have been shown in rigorous clinical trials to assist patients with COVID-19.
(Report by Deena Beasley and Michael Erman; Edited by Bill Berkrot and Leslie Adler)