Gilead Sciences has been the center of attention lately, mostly owing to its antiviral drug remdesivir. It is not surprise considering remdesivir is currently the most promising drug therapy for fighting the COVID-19.
During the past week, Gilead also invited a lot of attention because reports surfaced that AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical giant, is keen on acquiring the biotech company. However, the chances of a deal coming through look slim.
What’s Gilead up to?
It has been Gilead’s longtime objective to develop an HIV cure. And the biotech is moving towards achievement of this objective at lightening speed with not one but four candidates in the pipeline going for clinical testing.
A portfolio of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs), which was developed by the Rockefeller University, was licensed by Gilead in January. GS-2872 and GS-5423 are the two bNAbs that are currently being evaluated in the second phase testing for preventing, treating and perhaps even curing HIV. It must be noted though, that Gilead is conducing these studies in collaboration with Rockefeller and not independently.
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Gilead’s long history with HIV Science
It is quite early for Gilead’s efforts to be able to develop a cure for HIV. Nevertheless, if there’s one company that can pull it off, it is Gilead Sciences.
Vistide, which treated AIDS patients with inflammatory eye disease called cytomegalovirus retinitis, was Gilead’s first FDA approval. Over the year, Gilead has become a juggernaut in treatment of HIV with blockbusters that include Stribild, Truvada, and Atripla.
Martin Delaney Collaboratories for #HIVCure Research
The #Fund purpose is to address the problem of people living with HIV treated with suppressive antiretrovirals. The FOA will support coordinated clinical & applied research focused on developing strategies to achieve a cure
— Christina Stocks (@fblomdces) June 18, 2020
To sum up, Gilead is more familiar with the science of HIV as against any other drugmaker in the world. That ofcourse is no guarantee that Gilead will develop an HIV cure all by itself. Gilead’s expertise with antivirals enables it to identify research programs that show potential and the drugmaker could either acquire or license these programs.