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Gilead Sciences Buys Kite Pharma

Foster City, California-based Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD – $83.71) said earlier this week that it has agreed to buy biopharmaceutical firm Kite Pharma for $11.9 billion in cash, giving the drug maker new access to a pioneering therapy to fight cancer. Kite is developing several cell therapy medicines, which use a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. These drugs, also known CAR-T therapies, act through either a chimeric antigen receptor — CAR — or an engineered T-cell receptor, depending on the type of cancer. Kite’s most advanced experimental drug is axi-cel, which may be the first CAR-T treatment on the market for an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. 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. The transaction will help Gilead, which has been losing ground in its Hepatitis C franchise, diversify its revenue. The company said the acquisition will be neutral to earnings by year three after the close and accretive after that. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter. The shares of Gilead can be retained for further recovery.

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