Gilead Sciences Inc. acquired the Santa Monica biotech company Kite Pharma Inc. in a $11.9 billion deal. Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines. It intends to expand Kite Pharma’s Los Angeles area operations at its facility El Segundo. The merger transition will be guided by Dr. Arie Belldegrun, Kite Pharma’s founder and chief executive.
According to Gilead Chief Executive John F. Milligan, “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 cancer.”
Novartis (NVS) and Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) are other major companies which have been developing the unique drug CAR-T inhibitor that utilises the body’s immune system to fight against cancer cells. Kite Pharma’s cancer treatment: CART-T primarily destroys only cancerous cells leaving the healthy cells unharmed. The pharma’s key candidate is awaiting FDA approval which is expected by the end of November.
This acquisition is another feather in Gilead’s cancer-fighting cap as its new pioneering cancer treatment is about to be approved. Kite Pharma’s share prices rose following the acquisition announcement. It is to be paid $180 for each share and a 29% premium over the Friday closing prices.