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How Did Gilead’s Blockbuster Drug Harvoni Perform in 2Q17?

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Gilead’s Harvoni 

Harvoni is the top-selling drug in Gilead Sciences’ (GILD) portfolio. The drug is used for the treatment of genotype-1 hepatitis C virus (or HCV) infection. Harvoni is a combination of two drugs, 90 mg of Ledipasvir and 40 mg of sofosbuvir.

The above chart shows revenues for the drug Harvoni over the last few quarters.

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Importance of Harvoni

Harvoni contributed ~21% of Gilead’s total revenues in 2Q17. The drug is used with or without Ribavirin for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus genotype-1, genotype-4, genotype-5, and genotype-6 infections. Clinical studies have shown that over 96% of patients with genotype-1 hepatitis C virus infections with or without cirrhosis and no prior treatments have been cured with once-daily treatments of Harvoni for 12 weeks.

Harvoni revenues  

Harvoni reported revenues of $1.4 billion during 2Q17, a 46% decline in revenues as compared to $2.6 billion during 2Q16. The decline was driven by competition from other drugs due to patent expiry of Harvoni.

The US sales for Harvoni were $984 million during 2Q17, while the Harvoni sales for European markets were $230 million, and rest of the world sales were $168 million.

Gilead introduced its new drug, Epclusa, a combination of 400 mg of Sofosbuvir and 100 mg of Velpatasvir, in 2016. Epclusa is a drug for the treatment of patients with chronic genotype-1 through genotype-6 hepatitis C infections with or without cirrhosis. The drug is used in combination with Ribavirin for the treatment of patients with advanced cirrhosis. Epclusa revenues were $1.2 billion during 2Q17 as compared to $64 million in 2Q16.

Some other drugs for the treatment of the Hepatitis C virus infection include AbbVie’s (ABBV) Technivie, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY) Daklinza, and Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Olysio.

To divest the company-specific risks, investors can consider ETFs like the PowerShares Dynamic Biotechnology and Genome ETF (PBE), which holds 5.4% of its total assets in Gilead Sciences. PBE also holds 5.3% in Biogen (BIIB), 2.8% in Myriad Genetics (MYGN), and 5.1% in Celgene (CELG).

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