Gilead Shares Move Higher After FDA Approves its Cancer Drug

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Gilead made an excellent move acquiring Kite Pharma because a drug that Kite developed has just been approved by the U.S. FDA.

It was on Wednesday that the FDA gave the green light to a new therapy to treat a type of lymphoma called Yescarta.

The drug will be priced at $373,000 for one administration to each patient. The therapy is for adults who are battling large B-cell lymphoma, which is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, who have failed to respond to other treatments.

It was roughly two weeks ago that Gilead closed on its transaction for Kite, so this is already a great start for the company.

It was back in August that Gilead announced it would be acquiring Kite in a deal valued at around $12 million.

It was also in August, ironically two days after Gilead’s announcement, that Novartis’ Kymriah, another cancer therapy drug, was approved by the FDA. That therapy has a price tag of $475,000 but Novartis has said it would only charge patients if they respond to the treatment within a month.

Gilead has not made any statements saying it would do the same thing.

Both drugs are chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies known as CAR-Ts that reprogram a patient’s body in fighting the cancer by using their own immune cells to recognize and attack malignant cells.

According to Jefferies analyst Michael Yee, Yescarta could generate sales of up to $250 million next year.

Disclaimer: We have no position in Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) and have not been compensated for this article.