Gilead and Kite acquiring Cell Design Labs for up to $567M

Wendell Lim				Courtesy of UCSF

Wendell Lim Courtesy of UCSF

Drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc said on Thursday it had agreed to acquire privately-held Cell Design Labs Inc for up to $567 million to boost its CAR-T cancer drug pipeline.

It is the second move by Gilead in recent months to invest in cutting-edge cancer treatments known as vehicle T cell therapy.

The deal calls for an initial up-front payment of $175M, along with additional payments of up to $322M upon the occurrence of events including development and approval milestones.

As per the terms of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Cell Design Labs, which includes the approximately 12.2 percent of shares of Cell Design Labs that are now held by Kite, for up to approximately $567 million.

In August, Novartis AG's Kymriah became the first CAR-T cell therapy to get US approval, signaling a new era in the treatment of cancer.