Gilead to acquire Kite Pharma
FOSTER CITY and SANTA MONICA, Calif. — In a deal estimated at roughly $11.9 billion, Gilead Sciences will be acquiring leading cell therapy company Kite Pharma for $180 per share, the companies announced last week. Among the potential treatments Gilead will acquire is Kite’s most advanced therapy candidate, axicaabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), a cancer-fighting therapy expected to be the first to market to treat refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with a decision date of Nov. 29.
“The acquisition of Kite establishes Gilead as a leader in cellular therapy and provides a foundation from which to drive continued innovation for people with advanced cancers,” Gilead president and CEO John Milligan said. “The field of cell therapy has advanced very quickly, to the point where the science and technology have opened a clear path toward a potential cure for patients. We are greatly impressed with the Kite team and what they have accomplished, and share their belief that cell therapy will be the cornerstone of treating cancer. Our similar cultures and histories of driving rapid innovation in order to bring more effective and safer products to as many patients as possible make this an excellent strategic fit.”
Kite’s research and development and commercialization operations will remain based in Santa Monica, Calif., and its manufacturing will remain in El Segundo, Calif., Gilead said.
“From the release of our pivotal data for axi-cel, to our potential approval by the FDA, this is a year of milestones. Each and every accomplishment is a reflection of the talent that is unique to Kite,” Kite chairman, president and CEO Arie Belldegrun said. “We are excited that Gilead, one of the most innovative companies in the industry, recognized this value and shares our passion for developing cutting-edge and potentially curative therapies for patients.”