By Maria Armental
Gilead Sciences Inc.'s revenue rose about 16% in the latest period, helped by sales of its antiviral drug remdesivir that is used to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
Remdesivir, which sells under the brand name Veklury and has been widely used to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients, brought in $1.46 million in sales in the March quarter, ahead of analysts' expectations, according to FactSet.
The World Health Organization has recommended against using remdesivir after concluding that there wasn't evidence that the drug reduced deaths or recovery times.
Sales of Gilead's other drugs were hurt by pandemic-related shutdowns.
Overall, first-quarter profit rose to $1.73 billion, from $1.55 billion a year earlier, while revenue rose to $6.42 billion.
Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a profit of $2.35 billion on $6.74 billion in revenue.
Total product sales excluding Veklury, the company said, fell 11% to $4.9 billion.
In response to the Covid-19 case surge in India, now at the center of the worst coronavirus crisis, Gilead pledged to offer technical assistance to voluntary licensees to expand local production capacity of remdesivir and support additional manufacturing facilities as well as donate the active pharmaceutical ingredient. Gilead will also donate at least 450,000 vials of Veklury to the Indian government.
On Thursday, it maintained projections of $2 billion to $3 billion in Veklury sales and $23.7 billion to $25.1 billion in overall product sales for the year.
It now sees profit of $4.75 to $5.45 a share, compared with its earlier view of $5.25 to $5.95 a share, but maintained the projected adjusted profit range at $6.75 to $7.45 a share.
Write to Maria Armental at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 29, 2021 16:35 ET (20:35 GMT)Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.