With eight out of every ten HIV treatment-naïve patients (that is, those who have never used any HIV medication) being prescribed the company’s products, Gilead Sciences (GILD) continues to be a global leader in the HIV market.
According to Ipsos Healthcare HIV U.S. Scope & Monitor Q1 2015, Gilead’s single tablet regimen, or STR, has been adopted by about 61% of treatment-naïve patients in the US. Stribild, Complera, and Atripla are the top prescribed STRs in the US.
Stribild is the second most prescribed HIV regimen across all patients in the US and has managed to capture 28% of the treatment-naïve patient share. It is followed by Complera, which is the third most prescribed HIV regimen across all patients and accounts for 20% of the treatment-naïve population. Atripla is the most prescribed HIV regimen in the country, as it is prescribed to about 22% of all patients treated. However, compared to Stribild and Complera, it had only 14% of the treatment-naïve patient share, indicating that it might be losing new market share.
Truvada is used by about 29% of all treated HIV patients in the US, including 14% of the treatment-patient share. Truvada is the first drug approved by the FDA that can be used to prevent HIV in high-risk individuals. Analysts project that Truvada’s preventive indication is capable of reaching peak sales of about $150 million.
Stribild, the second most prescribed HIV regimen in treatment-naïve patients as well as those switching from other therapies, has been launched in the Big Five countries (the UK, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy) as well as 18 additional countries in Europe. Stribild has captured about 17% of all the treatment-naïve patient share in the Big Five countries.
Eviplera, also called Complera, has captured 22% of all the treatment-naïve patient share in Big Five countries. The drug is also the most switched-to HIV regimen in the Big Five countries. This is attributed mainly to the preferred status attributed to the drug in France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. Eviplera’s acceptance in these countries means that health insurers will likely offer reimbursement for the drug.
Atripla and Truvada also continue to be successful products in the European market, accounting for 14% and 28%, respectively, of the total patient share.
Gilead Sciences is currently facing competition from companies such as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Pfizer (PFE), which through their joint venture, ViiV Healthcare, have created a substitute for Atripla called Tivicay (dolutegravir). Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) are other major companies competing with Gilead Sciences in the HIV space.
Investors can gain exposure to Gilead Sciences’ leading HIV portfolio but avoid company-specific risks by investing in the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology ETF (IBB). IBB maintains 7.89% of its holdings in Gilead Sciences’ stock.