February 10, 2006
Gilead Sciences Launches Stop Hep B Campaign; Initiative Aims to Combat Chronic Hepatitis B by Educating and Empowering At-Risk Communities
FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 10, 2006--Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:GILD) today announced the launch of Stop Hep B, a grassroots campaign that utilizes community partnerships and interactive online education to drive awareness and testing for hepatitis B, and to provide a central place where patients and caregivers can "join the fight" to stop hepatitis B.
Approximately 1.25 million Americans are believed to have chronic hepatitis B, and up to a third of these will develop scarring of the liver, liver failure or liver cancer. Chronic hepatitis B often produces no symptoms in its earlier stages, so many individuals are unaware that they are infected until they have advanced liver disease. As a consequence, approximately 5,000 Americans die each year from the complications of the disease.
"Hepatitis B is a silent epidemic among many communities in the United States," said Ming-der Chang, PhD, Executive Director, American Cancer Society, Eastern Division Chinese Unit. "Simply raising awareness is not enough to combat this epidemic. We also have to provide practical resources to help people join the fight against this insidious illness. Programs like Stop Hep B can help to achieve these goals."
Community partnerships and local events are a key component of the Stop Hep B campaign. Educational events, hosted in collaboration with local organizations and physicians, will be held throughout the year in communities across the country.
Another fundamental element of the Stop Hep B program is www.StopHepB.com, a website designed to inspire visitors to become vocal advocates, or "warriors," committed to fighting hepatitis B by informing family, friends and community groups about the disease. Website content is available in multiple languages, and the site has a search tool that helps people find local physicians who specialize in treating hepatitis B.
"Gilead is committed to fighting chronic hepatitis B through research, treatment, public education and community partnership," said Jim Meyers, Vice President of U.S. Commercial Operations for Gilead Sciences. "We are excited to launch a program that will educate those who are most impacted by the illness. Through collaboration and sustained action we can all help to raise awareness of hepatitis B."
Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company's mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases worldwide. Headquartered in Foster City, California, Gilead has operations in North America, Europe and Australia.
For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit www.gilead.com or call the Gilead Public Affairs Department at 1-800-GILEAD-5 (1-800-445-3235).
CONTACT: Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Erin Edgley, 650-522-5635
SOURCE: Gilead Sciences, Inc.