Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD – $73.57) and its cell therapy subsidiary Kite, announced that they have they have agreed to acquire privately held Cell Design Labs, Inc., gaining new technology platforms that will enhance research and development efforts in cellular therapy. Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all the outstanding shares of Cell Design Labs, which includes the approximately 12.2% that are currently held by Kite, for up to approximately $567 million. Subject to customary closing conditions, the agreement includes an initial upfront payment of about $175 million and additional payments of up to $322 million upon the occurrence of certain events, including the achievement of development and approval milestones.
Emeryville, California Cell Design Labs is a pre-clinical stage company with significance in discovery and development of cell-based therapies using its proprietary technology platform for custom cell engineering, including a portfolio of anticancer therapies. Initially focused on cancer, including both hematologic and solid tumors, this broad technology may also have applications in other complex diseases, such as autoimmune and degenerative disorders. The transaction, expected to close shortly, will build on Gilead’s recent acquisition of Kite Pharma, Inc. and has the potential to help the Gilead and Kite organizations accelerate the development of next generation cellular therapy candidates. Positions in Gilead Sciences, yielding 2.9%, can be held for long-term recovery.