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Gilead acquiring synthetic CAR T company Cell Design

December 8, 2017 1:07 AM UTC

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) will acquire Cell Design Labs Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.) for $175 million up front, plus up to $322 million in milestones payable to Cell Design’s shareholders. Cell Design President and CEO Brian Atwood told BioCentury that Gilead’s interest in the synthetic biology company stemmed from Cell Design’s CAR T partnership with Kite, which Gilead acquired for $12 billion in August (see BioCentury Extra, Aug. 28).

In June, Cell Design granted Kite exclusive rights to acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) applications using Cell Design’s Throttle Switch platform, which aims to control the potency and duration of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell activity through pharmacological control of the CAR itself. Atwood said Kite became a “big champion” for Cell Design after Gilead acquired the company...