Gilead Sciences made a big buy in August 2017 when it acquired Kite Pharma for USD 11.9 billion dollars, signalling its entry into the yet-unproven field of engineered T cells.
Two days after Gilead publicly announced their acquisition, Novartis received FDA approval for Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) for B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and the race was on for the other hematologic malignancies.
Four months after they acquired Kite, Gilead doubled down with the acquisition of Cell Design Labs, a company with technology platforms specializing in engineering chimeric antigen receptor T cells.
Then two months into 2018, Gilead announced a collaboration with Sangamo Therapeutics, another company specializing in gene engineering cell therapies for cancer, for a potential USD 3 billion dollars.
In our July 2017 profile of Gilead Sciences, we commented on their need to develop or acquire new blockbuster drugs. Now that Gilead has done just that and more, they must focus on producing clinical results to ensure they can corrode Novartis' early lead in gene therapies for cancer.
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