Gilead to buy Kite Pharma for about $12 billion

The companies announced the all-cash deal on Monday.

By REUTERS
August 28, 2017 14:49
1 minute read.
Dollar and shekel, side by side

Dollar and shekel, side by side. (photo credit: THOMAS WHITE / REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Gilead Sciences agreed to buy Israeli-founded Kite Pharma in a $11.9 billion deal on Monday.

Santa Monica, California- based Kite is developing a new CAR-T blood cancer therapy, axi-cel, which harnesses the body’s own immune cells to recognize and attack malignant cells.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Arie Belldegrun, an Israeli- American oncologist who founded the firm in 2009 and is its current chairman, president and chief executive officer, said this was a monumental achievement for his company.

“From the release of our pivotal data for axi-cel, to our potential approval by the FDA, this is a year of milestones,” he said. “Each and every accomplishment is a reflection of the talent that is unique to Kite. 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.”

Belldegrun said CAR-T has the potential to become one of the most powerful anti-cancer agents for hematologic cancers.

“With Gilead’s expertise and support, we hope to fulfill that potential by rapidly accelerating our robust pipeline and next-generation research and manufacturing technologies for the benefit of patients around the world,” he said.

The company’s technology is based on the research of Prof. Zelig Eshhar of the Weizmann Institute of Science.



Gilead, looking to replace flagging sales from hepatitis C drugs with an emerging and expensive class of cancer immunotherapies, will pay $180 per share in an all-cash deal, representing a 29.4% premium over Kite’s Friday close.

The deal for Kite, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Kite is one of the leading players in the emerging field of CAR-T, and is competing with rivals Novartis AG, Juno Therapeutics and Bluebird Bio in a race to get the first approved therapy.

If approved, these drugs are expected to cost up to $500,000 and generate billions of dollars. Success would also help advance a cancer-fighting technique that scientists have been trying to perfect for decades.

The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by November 29 whether to approve Kite’s CART, axi-cel, for treatment of adults with advanced lymphoma.

Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.

Related Content

Sodastream sold to Pepsico for 3.2 billion dollars, Aug 20, 2018
August 20, 2018
SodaStream to stay in Israel after $3.2 billion acquisition

By TAMARA ZIEVE