Biopharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences has agreed to acquire US-based Kite Pharma for around $11.9bn.
As per terms of the agreement, Gilead will pay $180.00 per Kite share in cash, representing a 29% premium to its closing price on 25 August.
Based in Santa Monica of California, Kite is engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapies with a primary focus on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) engineered cell therapies.
These cell therapies will help to enhance the immune system's ability to recognize and kill tumor.
In March this year, the company submitted a biologics license application (BLA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its advanced therapy candidate, axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), to treat refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The approval allows to treat patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL) and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL).
The firm has also submitted marketing authorization application (MAA) to the uropean Medicines Agency (EMAfor axi-cel to treat relapsed/refractory DLBCL, TFL and PMBCL.
In addition, the firm has other candidates in clinical trials in both hematologic cancers and solid tumors, including Kite-585.
Kite-585 is a CAR T therapy candidate that targets BCMA expressed in multiple myeloma.
Gilead president and CEO Dr John Milligan said: “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.
Kite president and CEO Dr 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.”
In April 2016, Gilead Sciences also agreed to acquire Nimbus Therapeutics' subsidiary Nimbus Apollo and its Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase (ACC) inhibitor program in a transaction valued at up to $1.2bn.
Image: Gilead Sciences to acquire Kite Pharma. Photo: courtesy of PinkBlue / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.