Gilead Sciences Set to Acquire CAR-T Developer Kite Pharma
Kite's most advanced therapy candidate, axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), is a CAR T therapy currently under priority review by the US FDA, and is expected to be a treatment option for refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma,
Officials with Gilead Sciences, Inc. and Kite Pharma, Inc. have announced today the companies have entered into an agreement that enables Gilead to acquire Kite for approximately $11.9 billion, or $180 in cash per share. The deal is expected to close later this year.
A leader in cell therapy, officials with Kite have developed engineered cell therapies that express either a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) or an engineered T cell receptor (TCR), depending on the type of cancer. Kite’s most advanced therapy candidate, axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), is a CAR T therapy currently under priority review by the US FDA, and is expected to be a treatment option for refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which includes diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL) and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL). The FDA has set a target action date of November 29, 2017 under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA).
“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,” John F. Milligan, PhD, Gilead’s President and Chief Executive Officer said in a press release. “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.”
Research and development as well as the commercialization operations for Kite will remain based in Santa Monica, California, with product manufacturing remaining in El Segundo, California.