Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences

Infobox Company
company_name = Gilead Sciences
company_type = Public nasdaq|GILD
foundation = Foster City, California (1987)
location = Foster City, California
key_people = John Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer
industry = Healthcare, Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical company
products = AmBisome, Atripla, Emtriva, Flolan, Hepsera, Letairis, Macugen, Tamiflu, Truvada, Viread, Vistide
revenue = 4.23 billion USD (2007)cite web
author = Gilead Sciences
title = 2007 Form 10-K Annual Report
publisher = SEC
date = 2008-02-27
url =
accessdate = 2008-06-30
operating_income = profit1.62 billion USD (2007)
net_income = profit2.16 billion USD (2007)
num_employees = 2,979 (Jan. 31, 2008)
homepage = []

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, 2008, the company had 2,979 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 2004 Gilead launched Truvada, a fixed-dose combination of tenofovir and emtricitabine.

In January 1997, Donald Rumsfeld, a Board member since 1988, was appointed Chairman of the company. [cite press release
title = Donald H. Rumsfeld Named Chairman of Gilead Sciences
publisher = Gilead Sciences
date = 1997-01-03
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-03
] 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. [cite web
last = Schwartz
first = Nelson D.
title = Rumsfeld's growing stake in Tamiflu
publisher = CNN
date = 2005-10-31
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-03

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.

In July 2006, the U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Atripla, a once a day single tablet regimen for HIV, combining Sustiva (efavirenz), a Bristol-Myers Squibb product, and Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), a Gilead product. [cite news | last = Pollack | first = Andrew | title = F.D.A. Backs AIDS Pill to Be Taken Once a Day | publisher = New York Times | date = 2006-07-13 | url = | accessdate = 2007-09-20 ] [ cite press release | title = U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) Approves Atripla | publisher = Gilead Sciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb | date = 2006-07-12 | url = | accessdate = 2007-12-15]

Gilead purchased Raylo Chemicals, Inc. in November 2006 for a price of $133.3 million. [cite press release
title = Gilead Sciences Completes Acquisition of Raylo Chemicals Inc.
publisher = Gilead Sciences
date = 2006-11-03
url =
accessdate = 2007-06-07
] 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 [cite press release | title = Gilead Sciences to Acquire Myogen, Inc. for $2.5 Billion | publisher = Gilead Sciences | date = 2006-10-02 | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-15] , based in Boulder, Colorado, was completing Phase 3 studies of ambrisentan--now marketed as "Letairis"--an orally available endothelin receptor antagonist. The U.S. FDA subsequently approved ambrisentan for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in June 2007. [cite news | last = Pollack | first = Andrew | title = Gilead’s Drug Is Approved to Treat a Rare Disease | publisher = New York Times | date = 2007-06-16 | url = | accessdate = 2007-06-16 ] [cite press release | title = U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves Gilead's Letairis Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension | publisher = Gilead Sciences | date = 2007-06-15 | url = | accessdate = 2007-06-16 ] [cite press release | title = FDA Approves New Orphan Drug for Treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension | publisher = Food and Drug Administration | date = 2007-06-15
url = | accessdate = 2007-06-22

Under an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline, Myogen markets Flolan (epoprostenol sodium) in the United States for the treatment of primary pulmonary hypertension. Additionally, Myogen is developing (in Phase 3 studies) darusentan [cite web |url= | - Information on Clinical Trials and Human Research Studies: Darusentan |accessdate=2007-08-18] , also an endothelin receptor antagonist, for the potential treatment of resistant hypertension.

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. [cite web |url= |title=Clinical Trial: Aztreonam Lysine for Inhalation in Patients With Cystic Fibrosis and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Airway Infection |accessdate=2007-08-18] Gilead also obtained an inhalation formulation of two antibiotics for treatment of respiratory infections. [cite press release | title = Gilead Invests $25 Million in Corus Pharma; Establishes Equity Position in Company With Late-Stage Product Candidate for Cystic Fibrosis | publisher = Gilead Sciences | date = 2006-04-12 | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-15]

Gilead expanded its move into pulmonology in 2007 by entering into a licensing agreement with Parion for an epithelial sodium channel inhibitor for the treatment of pulmonary diseases, including cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and bronchiectasis. [cite press release | title = Parion Sciences and Gilead Sciences Sign Agreement to Advance Drug Candidates for Pulmonary Disease | publisher = Gilead Sciences | date = 2007-08-15 | url = | accessdate = 2007-08-15]

Timetable of mergers and acquisitions


External links

* [ Gilead corporate web site]
* [ page on Gilead, including entry from Encyclopedia of Company Histories]
* [ Gilead Sciences company profile] from Yahoo!
* [ Gilead Sciences stock performance chart] from GStock
* [ Press Release on 2005 Financial Results]

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