ARTICLE | Company News

Gilead grabs Kite for nearly $12B

September 1, 2017 6:03 PM UTC

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) added a late-stage cancer asset and pivoted toward the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy space after agreeing to acquire Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE) at $180 per share in cash, which the companies say values Kite at about $11.9 billion.

The acquisition is a 29% premium on Kite’s Aug. 25 close of $139.10. However, the biotech’s valuation has been ticking up over the past six months due to a series of catalysts for lead CAR T therapy axicabtagene ciloleucel (KTE-C19), starting with a 25% jump on Feb. 28 to $70.77 when Kite reported positive data from the Phase II ZUMA-1 trial for axicabtagene ciloleucel. Most recently, Kite jumped to $120.13 on Aug. 8 after the biotech said that FDA will not require an advisory committee meeting for axicabtagene ciloleucel, and has continued to climb ahead of the therapy’s Nov. 29 PDUFA date, suggesting market speculation that a near-term deal could be imminent...