Gilead Sciences on Wednesday cut its 2020 revenue forecast, citing lower-than-expected demand and difficulty in predicting sales of remdesivir, the only treatment approved in the United States for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Remdesivir brought in $873 million in the quarter, below analysts’ estimates of $960 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
Gilead Chief Commercial Officer Johanna Mercier said that although the United States saw a surge in COVID-19 cases over the summer, many were younger people and hospitalization rates actually dropped. “Our assumption is in light of the surge this fall both in Europe and the U.S., those numbers will pop back up,” she said.
Gilead lowered the top end of its full-year sales outlook to $23.5 billion, which is below Wall Street estimates of $24.1 billion. The company had previously forecast 2020 sales as high as $25 billion.
“The revision in guidance is tied, not entirely, but almost entirely to expectations around Veklury,” Gilead Chief Financial Officer Andrew Dickinson said, using the brand name for remdesivir. “There was less demand in the third quarter than expected.”
Remdesivir is authorized or approved for use in more than 50 other countries around the world. It was one of the treatments given to U.S. President Donald Trump during his recent bout with COVID-19.