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Harvoni: Gilead Sciences’ Blockbuster HCV Drug

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Gilead Sciences’ Harvoni

Harvoni, a combination drug of ledipasvir 90 mg (milligrams) and sofosbuvir 400 mg, is Gilead Sciences’ (GILD) biggest-selling drug. Harvoni’s clinical studies have shown that more than 96.0% of patients with genotype-1 Hepatitis C virus (or HCV), with or without cirrhosis, a type of liver disease, who have taken no prior treatments, have been cured with Harvoni once-daily treatment for 12 weeks.

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Uses of Harvoni

Harvoni is used with or without ribavirin for the treatment of chronic HCV of genotype-1, genotype-4, genotype-5, and genotype-6.

Revenues

During 3Q16, revenues for Harvoni fell to $1.9 billion compared to $3.3 billion for 3Q15. That’s mainly due to the patent expiration of Harvoni and competition from products such as Merck’s (MRK) Zepatier and AbbVie’s (ABBV) Viekira Pak.

However, Gilead’s new drug Epclusa, a tablet containing sofosbuvir 400 mg and velpatasvir 100 mg, is approved for the treatment of patients with HCV with or without cirrhosis.

Epclusa

Epclusa is a new drug for the treatment of chronic HCV of genotype-1 to genotype-6, with or without cirrhosis. For patients who have advanced cirrhosis, the drug is used in combination with ribavirin.

Gilead expects Epclusa to be a new blockbuster drug for the treatment of patients with HCV. The drug reported revenues of $640.0 million in 3Q16.

Some other approved treatments for HCV include Daklinza from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Technivie from AbbVie (ABBV), and Olysio from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

To divest your risk, you can consider ETFs such as the PowerShares Dynamic Pharmaceuticals ETF (PJP), which holds ~5.0% of its total assets in Gilead Sciences.

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