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Author Topic: John Martin: Gilead's Disease hunter. interview  (Read 1974 times)

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Offline sam66

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John Martin: Gilead's Disease hunter. interview
« on: May 12, 2011, 11:41:49 AM »

Gilead's John Martin on future  of Cancer and HIV treatment

CNN Money

Q: Gilead has just signed a new agreement with Yale for cancer research. What's the objective -- and considering that several large firms are already working on cancer, what makes you believe it's a good investment?

A: Chemotherapy is becoming much more targeted. As we have a better understanding of the specific gene sequences involving cancer, it's possible to develop targeted therapies. To move into the field at a slow pace, just doing research internally, it would take years to catch up. So in the past year we've acquired three companies [CGI Pharmaceuticals for $120 million, Arresto Pharmaceuticals for $225 million, and Calistoga Pharmaceuticals for $375 million] that specialize in specific kinases [types of enzymes] that could be involved in cancer. I now have the collaboration with Yale University to help identify molecular targets that we can inhibit to put cancer into remission.

Do you mean inhibit something that happens genetically?

Yes, inhibit gene products -- that would be an enzyme or a chemical reaction in the cell that's involved with the cancer spread. If we can block that aberrant process in the cell, we can have a beneficial effect for the patient.

From Gilead's perspective, what's the large strategic thought behind the Yale partnership plus those acquisitions?

Just look at how, with HIV, we were able to come up with multiple products that we could use in combination to keep HIV basically in remission in a patient and let the patient live a normal life. With our chemistry and biological expertise, we envision doing a similar thing for cancer chemotherapy.

From a business perspective, it sounds like an effort to diversify the company, which now gets a very large part of its business from HIV treatments.

That's correct. The majority of our revenue comes from our HIV business, where we have very selective compounds that are safe to take, and we have large market share. To grow, it's important for us to work in other areas of unmet medical need.

You are also trying to continue dominating HIV treatment with a new four-in-one pill, which is known in the industry as "the quad." Why has your company invested so much time and energy in this?

HIV therapy involves the patient taking multiple drugs, and we recognized quite a few years ago that if we could combine them all into one pill, the patient would benefit. People fail HIV therapy if they don't take all their medications, so if they're all in one pill, you take all or nothing. That's very beneficial to the patient. We've seen it in terms of outcomes less resistance, less need for second-line regimens. The key is to come up with a future single-tablet regimen, and the quad will be one of those that contains a very important inhibitor a new class of molecules.

What you're saying is that you have focused on real-world patient behavior, not just the chemistry and biology of the medication.

Yes. Until Gilead developed the molecules that could be used once a day in combined form, medications had to be taken three or four times a day, with and without food, up to 35 pills a day, and it's very, very difficult for the patient. Our breakthrough was to come up with the first nucleotide for the treatment of HIV, called Viread, and then we developed a second drug and combined it with Viread for Truvada. Then, for the third drug to use in combination, we did a partnership with Bristol-Myers (BMY, Fortune 500) and Merck (MRK, Fortune 500). That product is called Atripla. It's been on the market since 2006, and it's the No. 1 regimen used in the U.S.

  Full interview


december 2007 diagnosed +ve ,

Offline Rev. Moon

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Re: John Martin: Gilead's Disease hunter. interview
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 12:13:42 PM »
Interesting interview from a business standpoint. Thanks for posting.
"I have tried hard--but life is difficult, and I am a very useless person. I can hardly be said to have an independent existence. I was just a screw or a cog in the great machine I called life, and when I dropped out of it I found I was of no use anywhere else."

Offline sam66

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Re: John Martin: Gilead's Disease hunter. interview
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 02:54:39 PM »

  Yes Rev
             When I look at the business of hiv , sometimes the numbers are mind boggling

      In 2009 total global sales of ARV's was $ 28,000000,000 (billion)



   2010 Gilead generated $7.95 billion in revenues and net earnings of $2.9 billion.

   80%  of which came from ARV's -  $ 6.53 billion



  Now I have no problem with any company making a profit, afterall they have to survive in the market
  And the drugs they make keep me alive, so I'm greatfull for that.

  But whats sad is someone like Dr. Sudhir Paul  is struggling to raise just $1m take his research forward.

  Which if my maths is correct is just .04 % of total ARV sales in2009 
december 2007 diagnosed +ve ,


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