Gilead Sciences NASDAQ: GILD is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes therapeutics to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. For many years since the company was founded, the company concentrated primarily on antiviral drugs to treat patients infected with HIV, hepatitis B or influenza. In 2006, Gilead acquired two companies that were developing drugs to treat patients with pulmonary diseases. The company has eleven commercially available products. Headquartered in Foster City, California, Gilead has operations in North America, Europe and Australia. As of Jan. 31, 2007, the company had 2,515 full-time employees.
The company's name and logo refer to the Balm of Gilead. Gilead (a place mentioned in the Bible) was famed for its small trees that produced a resin used in medicine. The leaf in the logo symbolizes healing, life and growth, while the shield represents safety, strength and honor. Together they signify Gilead's efforts to use the healing power of science to create medicines that treat life-threatening diseases.
Gilead is a member of the NASDAQ Biotechnology Index and the S&P 500.
Gilead Sciences was originally formed under the name of "Oligogen" in June 1987 by Michael Riordan, a medical doctor who was 29 years old at the time. But the name of the company was changed to "Gilead Sciences" for the incorporation in 1988. Riordan looked to Donald Rumsfeld as a mentor in the business world and to navigate the political waters. Under the technical leadership of Scientist, Mark Matteucci, the company focussed on discovery research making small strands of DNA (oligomers) to assess the potential of genetic code blockers (gene therapy). Its development of small molecule antiviral therapeutics was ushered in by John Martin in 1992 with the licensing of nucleotide compounds discovered in two European academic labs.
In 1990, Gilead entered into a collaborative research agreement with Glaxo for the research and development of genetic code blockers, also known as antisense. This collaboration was terminated in 1998, and Gilead's antisense intellectual property portfolio was sold to Isis Pharmaceuticals.
Gilead debuted on the NASDAQ in January 1992. Its IPO raised $86.25 million in proceeds.
In June 1996, Gilead launched its first commercial product, Vistide (cidofovir injection) for the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in patients with AIDS. The company cooperated with Pharmacia & Upjohn to market the product outside the U.S.A.
In March 1999 Gilead acquired NeXstar Pharmaceuticals of Boulder, Colorado following two years of negotiations with the company. At the time, NeXstar's annual sales of $130 million was three times Gilead's sales. NeXstar's two revenue-generating drugs were AmBisome, an injectable fungal treatment, and DaunoXome, an oncology drug taken by HIV patients. Also in 1999, Roche announced first approval of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) for the treatment of influenza. Tamiflu was originally discovered by Gilead and licensed to Roche for late-phase development and marketing.
Viread (tenofovir) achieved first approval in 2001 for the treatment of HIV.
In January 2003 Gilead completed its acquisition of Triangle Pharmaceuticals. The company also announced its first full year of profitability. Later that year Hepsera (adefovir) was approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, and Emtriva (emtricitabine) for the treatment of HIV.
In January 1997, Donald Rumsfeld, a Board member since 1988, was appointed Chairman of the company. He stood down from the Board in January 2001 when appointed Secretary of Defense at the start of George W. Bush's first term as President. Federal disclosure forms indicate that Rumsfeld owns between USD$5 million and USD$25 million in Gilead stock. The rise in Gilead's share prices from USD$35 to USD$57 per share will have added between USD$2.5 million to USD$15.5 million to Rumsfeld's net worth.
In November 2005, George W. Bush urged Congress to pass $7.1 billion in emergency funding to prepare for the possible bird flu pandemic, of which one billion is solely dedicated to the purchase, and distribution of Tamiflu.
Gilead purchased Raylo Chemicals, Inc. in November 2006 for a price of $133.3 million. Raylo Chemical, based in Edmonton, Alberta, was a wholly-owned subsidiary of Degussa AG, a German company. Raylo Chemical was a custom manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and advanced intermediates for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries.
Entry in the pulmonology therapeutic area
In 2006, Gilead completed two acquisitions that allowed the company to branch out from its historical antiviral franchise into the pulmonology therapeutic arena.
Myogen, based in Boulder, Colorado, was completing Phase 3 studies of ambrisentan, an orally available endothelin receptor antagonist. The U.S. FDA subsequently approved ambrisentan for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in June 2007.
The second acquisition was Corus Pharma. Corus' lead product candidate, aztreonam lysine for inhalation, is an antibiotic with activity against gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can cause lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. The product is in Phase 3 studies. Gilead also obtained an inhalation formulation of two antibiotics for treatment of respiratory infections.
Nexstar had two drugs (AmBisome and DaunoXome) of which only AmBisome is still in Gilead's portfolio, although it is not a major source of income for the company. DaunoXome was sold to Diatos in 2006. As important as the products, Nexstar also provided Gilead with a much-needed sales force and commercialization team in Europe and Australia, and a manufacturing plant in San Dimas, California.
Triangle owned the development and commercialization rights to emtricitabine, which although marketed as a stand-alone product (Emtriva), is also a component of the more profitable combination products Atripla and Truvada.
Corus Pharma, Inc.
The acquisition of Corus and Myogen signaled Gilead's entry into the pulmonary arena. Corus was developing aztreonam lysine for the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis who are infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa
With two drugs in development (ambrisentan and darusentan), and one marketed product (Flolan) for pulmonary diseases, the acquisition of Myogen has solidified Gilead's position in this therapeutic arena.
Raylo Chemicals, Inc.
This Edmonton, Alberta site will be used for process research and for manufacturing compounds for both clinical studies and commercial products.
Gilead Sciences (2007-02-27). 2006 Form 10-K Annual Report. SEC. Retrieved on 2007-09-02.
Gilead Sciences (1997-01-03). "Donald H. Rumsfeld Named Chairman of Gilead Sciences". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-06-03.
Schwartz, Nelson D. (2005-10-31). Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu. CNN. Retrieved on 2007-06-03.
^ Pollack, Andrew. "F.D.A. Backs AIDS Pill to Be Taken Once a Day", New York Times, 2006-07-13. Retrieved on 2007-09-20.
^ Gilead Sciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb (2006-07-12). "U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) Approves Atripla". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-12-15.
Gilead Sciences (2006-11-03). "Gilead Sciences Completes Acquisition of Raylo Chemicals Inc.". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-06-07.
^ Gilead Sciences (2006-10-02). "Gilead Sciences to Acquire Myogen, Inc. for $2.5 Billion". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
^ Pollack, Andrew. "Gilead’s Drug Is Approved to Treat a Rare Disease", New York Times, 2007-06-16. Retrieved on 2007-06-16.
^ Gilead Sciences (2007-06-15). "U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves Gilead's Letairis Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-06-16.
^Food and Drug Administration (2007-06-15). "FDA Approves New Orphan Drug for Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-06-22.
^ ClinicalTrials.gov - Information on Clinical Trials and Human Research Studies: Darusentan. Retrieved on 2007-08-18.
^ Clinical Trial: Aztreonam Lysine for Inhalation in Patients With Cystic Fibrosis and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Airway Infection. Retrieved on 2007-08-18.
^ Gilead Sciences (2006-04-12). "Gilead Invests $25 Million in Corus Pharma; Establishes Equity Position in Company With Late-Stage Product Candidate for Cystic Fibrosis". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
^ Gilead Sciences (2007-08-15). "Parion Sciences and Gilead Sciences Sign Agreement to Advance Drug Candidates for Pulmonary Disease". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
^ Diatos SA (2006-03-28). "Diatos Announces Acquisition of Specialty Cancer Product DaunoXome® from Gilead" (pdf). Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-13.
^ Gilead Sciences, Inc (1999-03-01). "Gilead Sciences and NeXstar Pharmaceuticals to Merge". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-13.
^ Gilead Sciences (2004-12-04). "Gilead Sciences to Acquire Triangle Pharmaceuticals for $464 Million". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.
^ Gilead Sciences (2006-06-06). "Gilead Sciences to Acquire Degussa's Raylo Chemicals Inc.; Purchase to Expand Gilead's Manufacturing Scale-Up Capacity for Investigational Therapies". Press release. Retrieved on 2007-08-15.