Kite Pharma

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Kite Pharma is an American biotechnology company that develops cancer immunotherapy products, with a primary focus on genetically-engineered autologous T cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptors (CAR-T). Based in Santa Monica, California, it is a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences.

The company was founded in 2009 by Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, an Israeli-American oncologist, who served as the company's chairman, president and chief executive officer. Belldegrun had a co-founder in Joshua Kazam, who took on the role of Director.

On August 28, 2017, Gilead Sciences announced that it would acquire Kite Pharma for $11.9 billion in an all-cash deal, equating to $180 cash per share. The deal was expected to add the promising CAR-T candidate to Gilead's existing portfolio. The acquisition was completed in October 2017, when Kite Pharma's therapy, Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), became the first CAR-T therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy.

In 2017, MIT Technology Review ranked Kite Pharma 7th in its annual list of the preceding year's 50 Smartest Companies.

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Lead product

Axicabtagene ciloleucel (KTE-C19, ZUMA-3, YESCARTA) was an investigational therapy (for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)) in which a patient's T cells were genetically modified to express a chimeric antigen receptor designed to target the antigen CD19, a protein expressed on the cell surface of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. It garnered a US FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation (Dec 2015) for the treatment of patients with refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), ...read more

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