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Gilead to lay off one fifth of sales force

Gilead Sciences is preparing to lay off around a fifth of its salesforce in anticipation for the expiry of patents on two of the company’s older drugs.

Gilead will lay off around 150 cardiopulmonary sales representatives as generic versions of the firm’s heart drugs, Letairis and Ranexa, are set to hit the market.

While Letairis and Ranexa brought in $943 million and $758 million, respectively, in 2018 – Ranexa’s patent expires next month while multiple generics have already been approved for Letairis.

Gilead accused of ripping off US taxpayers

Gilead have been accused of ‘ripping off’ US taxpayers after the firm was revealed to have generated $3 billion in sales from preventative HIV drug Truvada, despite the fact it was developed  by the US government.

While the American government patented the PrEP drug in 2015, the government has not received a single penny in royalties from Foster City-based Gilead Sciences.

Nevertheless Gilead charge between $1,600 and $2,000 a month for Truvada. Meanwhile, generic versions of the drug are sold for as little as £20 for a month’s supply in the UK.

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HIV hit the headlines this week after it was announced that a British man known only as the ‘London Patient’ had been cured of HIV after receiving a bone marrow transplant from a donor with natural resistance to the immunodeficiency virus. Meanwhile Gilead offered positive results with HIV drug Biktarvy.

The news comes as sources told Reuters OxyContin drugmaker Purdue Pharma was exploring bankruptcy as a get out for the lawsuits they face over their role in manufacturing the opioid crisis.

Gilead's Biktarvy maintains HIV suppression for 48 weeks in children and adolescents

Gilead has lifted the curtain on new Phase 2/3 efficacy data for Biktarvy (bictegravir 50 mg/emtricitabine 200 mg/tenofovir alafenamide 25 mg tablets, also known as BIC/FTC/TAF), revealing that the drug demonstrated high efficacy in maintaining virologic suppression in already virologically suppressed adolescents and children aged six years and older living with HIV.

The trial evaluated the drug’s effects when administered once daily in 50 patients aged 12 to <18 and 50 patients aged six to 12 years of age, all of whom had an undetectable viral load (HIV-1 RNA &

Gilead's CAR-T therapy Yescarta rejected for NHS use in Scotland

It’s bad news for Scottish patients living with aggressive forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) as it emerges that the Scottish Medicines Consortium has chosen to reject Gilead’s CAR-T therapy Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel).

The decision means that patients who may have exhausted all other avenues of treatment will not be able to receive the treatment on the NHS in Scotland, with many not expected to survive longer than six months in these cases.

Gilead shares drop 4% after failure of NASH drug to meet primary endpoint

Gilead’s treatment for the progressive fatty liver disease, NASH, has failed to meet its primary goal in a phase 3 trial, causing shares in the company to fall by as much as 4%.

Gilead’s treatment for Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), a drug called selonsertib, did not meet its primary endpoint in a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled Phase 3 trial involving 877 patients.

Gilead inks $1.8 bn deal with immuno-oncology biotech Agenus

California-based firm Gilead Sciences and Massachusetts-based immuno-oncology biotech Agenus have announced that they have entered into a partnership focused on the development and commercialisation of up to five novel immuno-oncology therapies, in a deal worth up to $1.8 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement Agenus will receive $150 million upon closing which includes $120 million in cash along with an equity investment of $30 million. However Agenus will be eligible to receive up to $1.7 billion in potential future fees and milestones.

Gilead and Scholar Rock collaborate on fibrosis in deal worth more than $80m

Image Credit: Yale Rosen

California-based antiviral drugs specialist Gilead Sciences has entered into a strategic partnership with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotech Scholar Rock as part of an effort to discover and develop treatments for fibrotic diseases.

The collaboration will be focused towards the discovery and development of highly specific inhibitors of transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) activation for the treatment of diseases related to fibrosis.

Pharma in 2018: Looking back, looking forward

Published on 18/12/18 at 12:31pm

2018 has been a year characterised by uncertainty, but also significant leaps in research, access, and industry deals. With 2019 bringing a host of new challenges, not least of which is Brexit, Pharmafocus spoke to industry figures to ask what the past year meant, and what their projections are going forward.

Hilary Hutton-Squire, General Manager, UK and Ireland, Gilead Sciences

What would you say have been the big developments of the year?

The December issue of Pharmafocus is available to read online now!

The December edition of Pharmafocus is live and available to read online now!

Brexit continues to dominate the headlines inside and outside the industry, but for our final issue of 2018, we have a slew of content and news to round out the year.

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