Gilead Sciences buys US firm Kite Pharma for $11.9bn

Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has completed the acquisition of US-based Kite Pharma for approximately $11.9bn.

Kite Pharma specialises in the development of new cell therapies, which use a patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer.

Gilead Sciences has completed the transaction through Dodgers Merger Sub, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

On 28 August, the two companies entered a definitive merger agreement to complete the acquisition.

A tender offer was started on 5 September to buy all the outstanding shares of Kite Pharma at a price of $180 each.

Gilead Sciences has successfully concluded the tender offer for all of Kite Pharma's common stock shares.

"Kite Pharma has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilead Sciences."

Gilead Sciences president and chief executive officer Dr John F Milligan said: “Throughout our respective histories, each company has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing life-saving therapies for people who need them."

With the completion of the acquisition, Kite Pharma has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Gilead Sciences.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lazard and Barclays acted as financial advisors to Gilead Sciences, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom served as the company’s legal advisors.

Kite Pharma has developed engineered cell therapies that express either a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) or an engineered T-cell receptor (TCR), based on the form of cancer.

The company’s major CAR T therapy candidate, axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), is expected to be the first available treatment for refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL), and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL).