Will Gilead Sciences, Inc. Continue to Dominate HIV Treatment?

The launch of next generation therapies could help Gilead Sciences retain its market share.

Motley Fool Staff
Motley Fool Staff
Feb 8, 2016 at 1:23PM
Health Care

After apparently losing market share within the multibillion dollar market for medicine used to treat HIV, is Gilead Sciences(NASDAQ:GILD) reign as the top drugmaker coming to a close?

In this clip of Industry Focus: HealthcareMotley Fool analysts Michael Douglass and Kristine Harjes are joined by contributor Todd Campbell to discuss the future of Gilead Sciences' HIV business.

Listen to the full podcast by clicking here. A transcript follows the video.

This podcast was recorded on Feb. 3, 2016. 

Kristine Harjes: What's going on in HIV?

Michael Douglass: The thing that was really interesting to me on HIV, they had this slide, which they presented, which basically showed that in treatment-naive HIV patients, they've been steadily losing market share. In the third quarter of 2013, it was -- I'm ballparking here -- in the 90s. In third quarter 2014, it was lower. In third quarter 2015, it was, I want to say, 72%. So, I think that's a legitimate thing for people to be concerned about.

That said, you've got the next generation TAF-based HIV cocktails. The first one's already online, Genvoya, and its initial ramp looks really strong. You've also got two more that face PDUFA dates in the first half of 2016. And then, also, they're looking at European approvals in 2016 as well, potentially.

So, they're doing a lot to go ahead and try and grow that market share. One of the things that was really interesting to me, for one of their drugs, I believe it was Genvoya but I'm going to double check, they said about 10% of the patients who'd switched to it had switched from a non-Gilead therapy, indicating that there's that potential --

Todd Campbell: Yeah, I think that's exactly what they said, 80% were switchers, 10% were from Stribild, the other 10% came from competitors.

Douglass: Right. Which is great news. It's like, OK, not just maintaining market share, but looking to go ahead and grow it back up.

Harjes: There you go.

Campbell: Yeah, absolutely. And they priced it similarly to Stribild as well, which, obviously, a lot of people were worried that reinventing Viread and TAF, you would see a price spike that would have precluded some patients from being able to get access to it. So, I think they're willing to fight on market share. And if we've seen anything from them on the HIV front in the last 10 years, it's shown that they know how to market these drugs and to compete.

Harjes: Yeah, this is a classic Gilead franchise. This was around before people were ever talking about Gilead and hepatitis C, and it's something that will continue to be a business driver.

Campbell: It's a $12 billion business! We can't forget that. (laughs) A lot of companies would love to have $12 billion in sales from drugs.

Harjes: Yeah, you see the headlines all the time about hepatitis C, but it's really important to note that HIV is also huge for Gilead.

Douglass: And has been their bread and butter for a very long time.

Harjes: Exactly.

Douglass: They've been in HIV for longer than 10 years.