Stribild - Gilead Sciences

Stribild (elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, tenofovir)
Gilead Sciences
Launch Date: August 2012
First-Year Sales: $57.5 million (partial year 2012)
First-Half 2013 Sales: $191.5 million
Analyst Estimate for 2018: $3.54 billion

Gilead Sciences' ($GILD) drug Stribild, a.k.a. the Quad, combines four HIV treatments in one. It melds the experimental integrase inhibitor elvitegravir and a boosting agent--cobicistat--with the two drugs already combined in Gilead's pill Truvada. Highly anticipated, Stribild has not only performed well financially but also has been dubbed an outperformer. First projected to generate $842 million a year by 2016, its early sales have been so hot that it is now expected to rocket to $2.38 billion that year.

Approved in August of 2012, Stribild generated $57 million in sales last year and has sold $191.5 million in just the first 6 months of this year. One reason it can generate that kind of revenue is the $28,500-a-year price tag, one that immediately drew fire--and not only from AIDS activists. More than a dozen members of Congress asked Gilead to put a damper on the price before Stribild was even approved, fearing its costs could overwhelm state programs that help uninsured HIV patients.

Price might actually end up being a vulnerability. Stribild is expected to see some intense price competition from Tivicay, the new drug from the ViiV Healthcare joint venture between GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) and Pfizer ($PFE). The once-daily Tivicay nabbed FDA approval in August 2013, and it is priced at around $1,175 per month, compared with Stribild at $2,375 per month.

Gilead got to market with Stribild even as the market for branded antivirals was starting to peak. Based on analysts' projections, EvaluatePharma expects the market to grow from $17.5 billion in 2012 to $20.6 billion in 2016 and then taper off to about $18 billion in 2018. Still, it sees Stribild playing a significant part in Gilead's market share. The company is expected to hold half the branded business for antivirals in 2016, with $10.5 billion in sales, leaving 5 other players to scrap for the rest.  

For more:
Tivicay marks beginning of end in growth of HIV branded market
Gilead draws early fire for new HIV med's $28K price
Advisory panels take up Gilead's Truvada, then Quad
Lawmakers pressure Gilead on Quad price ahead of approval
FDA panel OKs Gilead's key HIV drug Quad

-- Eric Palmer (email | Twitter)

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Stribild - Gilead Sciences