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Gilead buys $12 bn Kite to fly into cell therapy

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NEW YORK -  Gilead Sciences said Monday that it was paying $11.9 billion to acquire Kite Pharma, a firm which could soon have the first cell therapies available to sufferers of certain types of cancers.

"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,? Gilead's chief executive John Milligan said in a statement.

Cell therapy is an emerging field which uses a patient?s own immune cells to fight cancer.


Kite could have the first cell therapy available on the market for certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, with the US Food and Drug Administration set to render a decision in November, the statement said.

The European Medicines Agency is expected to issue its decision next year.

"We are greatly impressed with the Kite team and what they have accomplished, and share their belief that cell therapy will be the cornerstone of treating cancer," said Milligan.

The $180 per share in cash that Kite shareholders will receive is a 29 percent premium over its closing price on Friday.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, the companies said.

Gilead said the acquisition of Kite will help it diversify revenues, and would help increase earnings after three years.

Gilead recently increased its earnings forecast for this year after a better-than-expected second quarter, but it has had to face slowing sales of its leading hepatitis C treatments.

New rival drugs that cost a fraction of Gilead's treatments and are similarly effective have recently hit the market.

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Muslim Global: Gilead buys $12 bn Kite to fly into cell therapy
Gilead buys $12 bn Kite to fly into cell therapy
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