Gilead Sciences, Inc. Earnings: Hepatitis C Market by the Numbers

By Markets Fool.com

Gilead Sciences rocked its first-quarter earnings, blowing past analysts' and its own estimates. Here's the numbers you need to know:

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$4.55: Amount of Harvoni and Sovaldi sales in billions. Gilead said more hepatitis C patients were treated this quarter thanks to the excitement over Harvoni, and payers relaxing restrictions on which patients can receive the drug. The sales were muted somewhat by discounts, which are expected to grow in the coming quarters.

30%: The percentage of sales that are going to public healthcare plans, such as Medicaid. Because the public plans get steeper discounts than commercial insurers, it's important to keep an eye on the mix.

57%: The year-over-year decline in sales of Sovaldi. No one blinked an eye about this, of course, because most of the patients who would have taken Sovaldi took Harvoni instead. Sovaldi is still being used for hepatitis C patients infected with some genotypes where it can cure patients on its own, but for patients infected with hepatitis C genotype 1 virus, Harvoni doesn't require add-on shots like Sovaldi, and has naturally become the drug of choice for that genotype.

90%: Harvoni's share of the market for U.S. patients infected with hepatitis C genotype 1 virus in the first quarter. Despite competition from AbbVie and others, Gilead has managed to capture a vast majority of the market. Discounts gave the company access, but it's been the one-pill-per-day format that has allowed it to dominate over AbbVie's Viekira Pak, which requires multiple pills per day.

4%: The amount of the estimated 6.6 million hepatitis C patients in the U.S. and five largest EU counties who have been treated with Harvoni or Sovaldi since Sovaldi launched. Obviously that means there are still plenty of patients left to treat.

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70,000: Number of U.S. hepatitis C patients who started Gilead therapy in the first quarter, which was 50% higher than the prior quarter. Management thinks there's capacity to treat between 250,000 and "the high 200,000s" of patients in the U.S. per year, which means we're probably close to capacity given the 280,000 patient run rate based on the first quarter.

$2: The amount that Gilead raised its 2015 sales guidance by in billions. That's a raise of guidance by the equivalent of two blockbuster drugs! Many companies would love to have $2 billion in total sales. Gilead is looking for 2015 product sales between $28 billion and $29 billion.

18%: Year-over-year increase in Gilead's selling, general, and administrative costs. Compare that to the 52% increase in revenue, and you can see just how profitable selling hepatitis C drugs has been for the company. Gilead has sales reps marketing to doctors, but Harvoni is basically selling itself given the pent-up demand for an all-oral hepatitis C drug.

The article Gilead Sciences, Inc. Earnings: Hepatitis C Market by the Numbers originally appeared on Fool.com.

Brian Orelli has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Gilead Sciences and owns shares of the company. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.