By Maria Armental 

Gilead Sciences Inc.'s revenue rose 17% in the third quarter, helped by sales of its antiviral drug remdesivir that has become a standard treatment for hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Remdesivir, which sells under the brand name Veklury, brought in $873 million in sales in the latest quarter. The drug has been approved in the U.S. to treat patients 12 years and older who require hospitalization for the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

A study paid for by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found the drug helped speed recovery times in hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Remdesivir was administered to President Trump as part of his Covid-19 treatment regimen.

California-based Gilead on Wednesday said it now projects $23 billion to $23.5 billion in product sales for the year, down from its earlier view of $23 billion to $25 billion, which the company said reflected the progression of the pandemic. Gilead said that AmerisourceBergen Corp. would remain the sole U.S. distributor of remdesivir through the end of 2020 and that it will sell the drug directly to hospitals.

The company said it expects its core business to gradually recover in the fourth quarter and into the first half of 2021 and that acquisition of Immunomedics should immediately add to revenue growth. Immunomedics' Trodelvy is among the brightest cancer-drug prospects, showing signs of success in treating lung and other cancers.

"The recent acquisition of Immunomedics has effectively transformed Gilead's growth story," Chief Executive Daniel O'Day said in a statement. "Trodelvy, an approved medicine with extensive potential for patients with a range of tumor types, adds to our growing portfolio of transformational medicines."

The biopharmaceutical company said it now expects $10.7 billion to $11.2 billion in operating profit for the year, compared with its earlier view of $10.7 billion to $13 billion.

Gilead swung to a third-quarter profit of $360 million, or 29 cents a share, from a $1.17 billion loss a year earlier. Last year's quarterly result included upfront collaboration and licensing expenses of $3.92 billion, or $2.40 a share, related to Gilead's global research and development collaboration agreement with Galapagos NV. On an adjusted basis, profit for the September quarter was $2.11 a share.

Revenue rose to $6.58 billion from $5.6 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a profit of $1.33 a share, or $1.90 a share as adjusted, on $6.3 billion in revenue.

Company officials had said that pandemic-related disruptions to routine health care had lowered sales and the number of new patients starting taking some of its drugs, including its antiviral drug Biktarvy and its prophylactic treatment Descovy, which can prevent new HIV infections.

Sales of Biktarvy rose 50% to $1.89 billion in the third quarter, while Descovy sales climbed 40% to $508 million.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 28, 2020 17:25 ET (21:25 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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