Israeli-founded pharma company Kite snapped up for some $11 billion
American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has agreed to purchase Israel's Kite Pharma Inc. for some $11 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Kite, founded by an Israeli professor in 2009, is among several companies working on technology that uses the body's immune cells to recognize and attack malignant cells, with its main drug currently up for approval in the United States and Europe. Analysts believe the drug will have global sales of $1.7 billion in 2022, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Gilead agreed to pay $180 per share, equaling a 29 percent premium over Kite's share price, according to the report.
While it was founded in Israel, Kite is headquartered in California, and its largest shareholders are American companies.
The company is run by CEO Ari Belldegrun, its founder.
"The acquisition of Kite establishes Gilead as a leader in cellular therapy and provides a foundation from which to drive continued innovation for people with advanced cancers," said John F. Milligan, PhD, Gilead's President and Chief Executive Officer.
"We are greatly impressed with the Kite team and what they have accomplished, and share their belief that cell therapy will be the cornerstone of treating cancer. Our similar cultures and histories of driving rapid innovation in order to bring more effective and safer products to as many patients as possible make this an excellent strategic fit."
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