By SELINA MCKEE
Gilead has booked huge increases in sales and earnings for the first quarter of 2015, driven by strong growth of its hepatitis C drugs.
The drugmaker posted a rise in total revenues from $5 billion to $7.6 billion, propelling a 95% rise in net income to $4.3 billion, or $2.76 per diluted share.
Product sales leapt 52% to $7.4 billion, as sales of its hepatitis C drug Harvoni (ledipasvir/sofosbuvir), approved in the US and Europe in the fourth quarter of last year, hit $3.6 billion, offsetting a decline in Sovaldi (sofosbuvir) turnover, which plummeted to $972 million from $2.3 billion, because of pricing discounts.
All-in-all revenue from antivirals, which includes the firm’s HIV portfolio, jumped to $7.0 billion from $4.5 billion a year ago.
On the back of its performance Gilead has raised its 2015 sales forecast by $2 billion, now expecting to generate around $28 billion-$29 billion.
Now secure in its success with existing hepatitis and HIV offerings, it seems the company may be looking further afield to broaden its horizons. In a call to investors, the firm’s chief executive John Martin reportedly said now would be a “good time for Gilead to consider a wide range of things”, and that he would consider buying in therapies in its standing areas of expertise, according to Fortune.