Gilead Sciences to buy Cell Design Labs for up to $567 mn

US biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc yesterday struck a deal to buy privately-held Cell Design Labs for up to $567 million.

The acquisition will be carried out by Gilead and its cell therapy subsidiary Kite Pharma, Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all the outstanding shares of Cell Design Labs, which includes around 12.2 per cent of shares of Cell Design Labs that are currently held by Kite, for up to approximately $567 million.

The agreement includes an initial upfront payment of approximately $175 million, and additional payments of up to $322 million to Cell Design Labs shareholders other than Kite upon achieving development and approval milestones.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close shortly.

San Francisco, California-based Cell Design Labs is a biotherapeutics company that discovers and develops cell-based therapies.

Using its proprietary technology platform for custom cell engineering, Cell Design Labs has been developing a portfolio of anti-cancer therapies. Initially focused on cancer, including both haematologic and solid tumours, this broad technology may also have applications in other complex diseases, such as autoimmune and degenerative disorders.

Gilead said that the addition of these technologies to existing Kite research and development programs could lead to the treatment of a broader range of hematological malignancies and solid tumors, and potentially offer improved selectivity and safety of future treatments.

Additionally, Cell Design Labs is developing several pre-clinical product candidates, including therapies for prostate cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma that use the synNotch technology. The company's lead pre-clinical candidate targets multiple myeloma.

The deal will build on Gilead's recent acquisition of Kite and has the potential to help both Gilead and Kite to accelerate the development of next generation cellular therapy candidates.

Gilead is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need.

Its portfolio of products and pipeline of investigational drugs includes treatments for HIV/AIDS, liver diseases, cancer, inflammatory and respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular conditions.