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.


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), more

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