GILEAD SCIENCES, INC. (NASDAQ:GILD) is “a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes medicines. Gilead’s primary areas of focus include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS, liver diseases, such as hepatitis B and C and cardiovascular/metabolic and respiratory conditions.” It is known as the world’s largest producer of AIDs drugs. Headquartered in California, Gilead also operates in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Last week it was announced that an FDA advisory panel (made up of non-FDA medical experts) backed one of Gilead’s HIV medicines with a 13 to 1 vote. A final decision by the FDA on approval is expected on or before August 27th. The medicine, known as the “Quad”, combines four active ingredients into one pill. Only one pill is required per day.
Earlier in the month the company announced that the first patient had been dosed in a Phase 3 clinical trial of a drug designed to treat treated chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Gilead is also working on drugs for Hepatitis C and other diseases. The company needs to develop or acquire new medicines as patent protections for its key drugs run out toward the end of the decade.
On the humanitarian side, Gilead is committed to providing access to its medicines for those who can’t afford them. In the U.S., it has a number of programs for uninsured and underinsured patients, plus those who otherwise need financial help. In other parts of the world, the company’s access program focuses on three areas – HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis B and visceral leishmaniasis, a deadly parasitic diseases.