As discussed earlier, Gilead Sciences (GILD) is focused on developing new products to treat the unmet needs of patients in various therapeutic areas. In this article, we’ll discuss some key developments for the company.
On August 28, 2017, Gilead Sciences entered a definitive agreement to acquire Kite Pharma (KITE) for $180 per share in cash. The overall deal size is approximately $11.9 billion, and the deal is expected to be closed in 4Q17.
Kite Pharma is a leader in cell therapy, which works on patient’s own immune cells to fight cancer. Kite has developed engineered cell therapies based on either an engineered T-cell receptor or a chimeric antigen receptor (or CAR). One of the investigation drugs, axicabtagene ciloleucel (or axi-cel), is based on CAR T therapy and the Food and Drug Administration (or FDA) has granted priority review to the drug.
On August 10, 2017, Gilead announced that the US Food and Drugs Administration (or FDA) granted priority review to the new drug application for an investigational combination of:
- Bictegravir (50 mg), an investigational integrase strand transfer inhibitor
- Emtricitabine (200 mg) and tenofovir alafenamide (25 mg)
The above combination is being investigated for use in patients with HIV-1 infections. The target action date under the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (or PDUFA) is February 12, 2018.
On August 1, 2017, the US FDA announced label expansion of Epclusa, which included Epclusa for patients co-infected with HIV.
To divest the company-specific risks, investors can consider ETFs like the Fidelity MSCI Healthcare ETF (FHLC), which holds 3.0% of its total assets in Gilead Sciences. FHLC also holds 4.8% in Merck (MRK), 2.4% in Abbott Laboratories (ABT), and 1.9% in Biogen (BIIB).