Gilead Sciences, Inc

Gilead Sciences is a biotechnology company based in Foster City, CA. The company focuses primarily on antiviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and influenza

Gilead's primary focus has been its HIV pipeline, beginning with its first therapy in 2001, Viread. Viread is a nucleotide analog which inhibits HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. The typical course of treatment for someone diagnosed with HIV/AIDs at this time was to take several of different antiviral drugs at once to prevent the development of disease resistance. However, adherence to these regimens proved challenging, and missing even a single dose of one medication could allow drug resistance. [1] The development of combination pills, those containing more than one medication, were essential in overcoming drug resistance. [2] Gilead's therapy Atripla was the first approved combination therapy for HIV/AIDS3. Atripla contains two nucleoside analogs and one non-nucleoside HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

Gilead also first tested the use of an HIV drug for disease prevention (pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP). PreP is for HIV-negative individuals who are at a very high risk from getting HIV. The approval of their drug, Truvada, for PrEP helped reduce the risk of HIV transmission by 90%. [3] Truvada is a combination of two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.

Gilead has developed today's leading medicines for the treatment of viral hepatitis. Hepatitis C is one of the leading causes of death globally, with nearly 400,00 deaths each year attributed to the disease. [4] The FDA approved Gilead's Sovaldi in 2013 as the first cure for hepatitis C, and over 3 million people have been cured of the disease since then. [5] Sovaldi is a nucleotide analog inhibitor of the hepatitis C virus polymerase.

Gilead acquired Kite Pharmaceuticals in 2017. The deal added promising CAR-T candidates to the company's portfolio, and their CAR-T therapy Yescarta for large, B-cell lymphoma was approved in 2017. CAR T-cell therapy is an immunotherapy that uses T cells engineered with chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to allow the T cell to target a specific protein. When infused into a patient, CAR-T cells can be used to treat target and destroy cancer cells. Yescarta was one of the first approved CAR-T therapies. [6]

Stemming from its focus on hepatic liver diseases, Gilead recently announced a collaboration with Novo Nordisk combining compounds for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is a chronic and progressive liver disease characterized by fat accumulation and inflammation, impairing liver function.

Gilead's scientific focus has resulted in 23 FDA-approved products that are benefiting millions of people worldwide. Today Gilead's research and development efforts have the potential to become the next generation of innovative therapies for HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, cancer, inflammatory and respiratory diseases and cardiovascular conditions.

Gilead Sciences is a sponsor of the 2019 North Texas Life Science Career Symposium (LSCS) hosted by Health Wildcatters and organized by the Biotech Club in May. The goal of LSCS is to connect top academic talent in North Texas with careers in the life sciences. Dr. John Milligan, former President and CEO of Gilead Sciences, will be a keynote speaker. For more information about the event, please visit 


  1. Close to 3 Million People Access Hepatitis C Cure. World Health Organization, 31 Oct. 2017,

  2. FDA Approves CAR-T Cell Therapy to Treat Adults with Certain Types of Large B-Cell Lymphoma. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 18 Oct. 2017,

  3. "HIV Prevention: Using HIV Medication to Reduce Risk: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis.", Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 Jan. 2019, prevention/using-hiv-medication-to-reduce-risk/pre-exposure-prophylaxis.

  4. Holland, Kimberly. " The Evolution of HIV Treatments." Healthline, Healthline Media, 4 Jan. 2017,

  5. "Viral Hepatitis." Gilead, Gilead Sciences, Inc., access/global-access/viral-hepatitis.

  6. "What to Start: Choosing an HIV Regimen Understanding HIV/AIDS." National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 16 Jan. 2019, regimen.