Gilead third quarter profit rises 17 pct, sales up 15 pct


Oct 29 (Reuters) - Biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc reported a 17 percent jump in quarterly net profit onTuesday and raised its outlook for full-year sales as revenueand demand for its flagship HIV drugs exceeded Wall Streetestimates.

Third-quarter net profit rose to $788.6 million, or 47 centsper share, from $675.5 million, or 43 cents per share, a yearearlier.

Sales of HIV drug Atripla rose 4 percent to $899.7 million,roughly in line with the $898 million expected by analysts,according to numbers published by ISI Group. Sales of HIV drugTruvada rose 1 percent to $813.7 million, surpassing analysts'estimate of $790 million.

Revenue for the quarter rose 15 percent to $2.78 billion,beating the $2.72 billion forecast by analysts. For the fullyear, Gilead raised its estimate for net product sales tobetween $10.3 billion and $10.4 billion, from a previous rangeof $10.0 billion to $10.2 billion.

Gilead is the world's largest maker of branded drugs totreat the human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS, butin recent years it has also focused on new treatments for theliver-destroying hepatitis C virus.

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationlast week voted to recommend that the agency approve Gilead'sapplication for experimental hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. Afinal FDA decision is expected by early December.

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