The $11.9 billion-deal brings cell therapy technology to Gilead.
The acquisition of Kite Pharma by Gilead Sciences, originally announced in August 2017, was completed this month. Gilead has paid $11.9 billion to make Kite a wholly owned subsidiary.
Gilead is a California-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapeutics targeting unmet medical needs, particularly those for patients with life-threatening diseases.
Kite is also a biopharmaceutical company, but with a focus on the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies that provide rapid, long-term, durable responses and thus eliminate the need for chronic care. In particularly, Kite is developing chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) engineered cell therapies that enable a patient’s immune system to recognize and kill tumors.
Kite’s lead candidate CAR-T therapy is axi-cel (axicabtagene ciloleucel), for which it submitted a Biologics License Application to the FDA. The therapy is used for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma that are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant. Axi-cel was awarded Priority Review by the agency and some analysts are predicting that it will reach blockbuster status. Kite has also submitted a Marketing Authorization Application to the European Medicines Agency, as a treatment for patients with relapsed/refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL), and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) who are ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant.
“We are excited to welcome more than 700 talented Kite employees to the Gilead organization,” said John F. Milligan, Ph.D., Gilead’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Throughout our respective histories, each company has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing life-saving therapies for people who need them. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together, as a combined organization.”