Gilead Sciences Inc. said late Thursday it will acquire privately held cellular therapy company Cell Design Labs Inc. for $567 million.
Cell Design is now developing custom cell engineering technology that Gilead hopes will augment existing research and development programs it acquired through Kite.
The agreement includes an initial upfront payment of approximately $175 million, subject to certain adjustments, and additional payments of up to $322 million that will be paid to the shareholders of Cell Design Labs other than Kite upon the occurrence of certain events, including the achievement of development and approval milestones.
Both Kite and Cell Design Labs develop cancer therapies that involve extracting a patient's own cells from his or her blood, genetically modifying them, and then reintroducing them into the person's body to attack harmful cancer cells.
In August, Novartis AG's Kymriah became the first CAR-T cell therapy to get US approval, signaling a new era in the treatment of cancer.