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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 on Tuesday and raised its outlook for full-year sales as revenue and demand for its flagship HIV drugs exceeded Wall Street estimates.

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

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 drug Truvada 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 full year, Gilead raised its estimate for net product sales to between $10.3 billion and $10.4 billion, from a previous range of $10.0 billion to $10.2 billion.

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

An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week voted to recommend that the agency approve Gilead's application for experimental hepatitis C drug sofosbuvir. A final FDA decision is expected by early December.