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The CEO of Gilead Sciences is moving forward



Gilead Sciences
Inc.


GILD 1.64%

Chief Executive Officer

John Milligan

The group will withdraw at the end of the year, an abrupt departure from a pharmaceutical company struggling with declining sales and profits. Milligan, a trained biochemist who has read scientific articles in his spare time, spent 28 years with Gilead and was CEO for the past two years. After the Board of Directors has found a successor, he will also leave the Board.

"I'm looking forward to a well-earned break and move on," said Dr. Milligan during a profit call with analysts and investors. 1

9659005] Chairman

John C. Martin

The Chief Executive Officer will also step down after the appointment of the new Managing Director.

The pair played a key role in converting Gilead from a young, antiviral drug manufacturer into one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies criticizing the high prices of its anti-HIV and hepatitis C drugs.

Gilead will be taking a new leadership position following her departure To cope with the declining revenue and profits that have fallen in recent quarters, as the competition sales of its hepatitis C drugs.

The drop in the number of hepatitis C patients – Gilead's therapies successfully cured many of them – has also led to sales.

Recent quarterly results reflected the company's challenges. Total revenue declined 21% year-on-year to $ 5.65 billion. Net income was $ 1.82 billion, or $ 1.39 per share, compared to $ 3.07 billion or $ 2.33 a year ago.

Global sales of Epclusa, Gilead's newest hepatitis C therapy, declined from $ 1.2 billion to $ 500 million in the quarter

shares fell 1.5% during off-hours trading.

Just four years ago, Foster City, California, was one of the world's top pharmaceutical companies on Wall Street.

Gilead Joins The Biggest Pharma Companies by Sales and Market Capitalization, Following the Launch of Sovaldi, a New Type of Hepatitis C Therapy That Healed Many Patients and Quickly Put Billions of Dollars on Sale. At the time it was the biggest market launch of all time.

But the company's franchise of hepatitis C therapies turned out to be as curse as blessing. The competition forced Gilead to significantly reduce its hepatitis C medications and sales declined.

Analysts and investors have been pressuring Gilead over recent years to find new sources of growth. Last year, the company paid about $ 11 billion to dive into a new type of cancer treatment, a cell therapy known as CAR-T.

But the sale of the crown jewel of the transaction, a lymphoma treatment called Yescarta, has begun slowly. Yescarta second-quarter revenue was only $ 68 million.

Gilead's HIV franchise is a bright spot for the company. Product sales increased to $ 3.7 billion in the quarter, an increase of 13% over the prior year.

Executives reported $ 1 billion in revenue stabilized per year, down only 4% from the first quarter. They also expressed high hopes for new treatments in the development for fatty liver disease, known as NASH.

"We continue to believe that 2018 is a good year for Gilead and we can grow in the future," said Chief Financial Officer Robin Washington during the conference call.

Write to Jonathan D. Rockoff to Jonathan.Rockoff@wsj .com


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