A Look Back at 2021

A letter from chairman and ceo, Daniel O’Day

Dan O Letter Hero
Year In Review Logo

In 2021, the availability of therapies and vaccines for COVID-19 allowed us to look ahead with optimism to life beyond the pandemic. These advances were made possible through a combination of innovative science and collaboration, which is the same combination that has been fueling Gilead’s progress for decades. As our progress continued in 2021, we delivered transformative therapies to patients, supported community efforts to advance health equity and advanced a pipeline that promises innovation for generations to come.

One of the therapies we’re delivering today is our antiviral treatment for COVID-19, remdesivir. Thanks to our long-term investment in antivirals, the speed of our response and global collaboration, remdesivir has now reached millions of patients with COVID-19. Voluntary license programs helped to expand access in more than 120 low- and lower-middle-income countries across the world. As new variants of SARS-CoV-2 emerged in 2021, remdesivir continued to demonstrate durable activity against the virus. No changes were identified in the variants that would significantly alter the viral RNA polymerase targeted by remdesivir. Today, Gilead scientists are working to advance additional options for patients with COVID-19, including an oral nucleoside that, once metabolized, works in the same way as remdesivir. At the same time, we are investing in antiviral research and development to help address potential future viral outbreaks and pandemics.

Gilead’s efforts to tackle viral diseases go back more than three decades and include our pioneering work in HIV. 2021 marked the 40th year since the first reported case of AIDS in the United States. Gilead has been continuously innovating to improve outcomes over the years, and now HIV is a chronic and manageable disease for many. Biktarvy, our once-daily oral treatment, is the number one prescribed HIV therapy in the U.S., and our medicines are used across the world to prevent and treat HIV. Today, we are in a very strong position to help end the HIV epidemic through further scientific innovation and collaboration. Our teams are advancing new long-acting options and pursuing a cure. In 2021, Gilead made important progress across our entire HIV portfolio. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted testing, diagnosis and treatment for many conditions and highlighted stark disparities in care. In 2021, we doubled down on efforts to address these issues through our partnerships with community organizations. These organizations are doing critical work to remove barriers to care, such as social injustice and stigma. Since 2018, Gilead has been recognized as the largest private funder of non-profit HIV programs in the U.S., and the second largest in the world. In 2021, we also made a new $200 million endowment to the Gilead Foundation to help address social, economic and environmental factors that contribute to health and wellbeing.

Having set and achieved bold ambitions in addressing viral diseases, we are keeping a high bar for our expansion into oncology. We continued to build strong momentum in 2021 with regulatory approvals and promising data readouts. Gilead and Kite now have a world-class combined oncology portfolio that is driving results today and will contribute to a significant portion of our revenues in the coming years. We are on track to achieve approval for more than 20 new indications by 2030 and are confident that we will deliver on our ambitions through our differentiated science, strong collaborations and commitment.

We continue to grow our employee population to support the evolution of the company and we added 2,900 talented employees across Gilead and Kite in 2021. As we grow, we remain focused on our culture and values. We firmly believe that the values of inclusion and diversity, which are woven into the fabric of the company, are critical to fulfilling our mission and improving the world for generations to come. We are committed to building an environment where every individual can truly be themselves and feel empowered to share their ideas. At Gilead, we know that a single idea can lead to innovation that could help millions of people across the globe.

With our growth comes a strong commitment to sustainability. We strive to work in a way that protects our planet, knowing that human health also depends on the health of our environment. Newsweek ranked Gilead sixth overall, and second in the Health Care and Life Sciences industry, in its 2022 list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. We were also added to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. This is an area where we feel a passionate sense of responsibility and are fully committed to driving change. 

Our journey with the pandemic has reminded us that through science and collaboration, we can make the world a healthier place for everyone. All of us at Gilead look forward to playing a meaningful part in delivering on that goal, in 2022 and beyond.

Daniel O’Day


View Full Report (PDF)