FDA Approves Gilead Drug for Lymphoma, Stock Rises

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According to the Lymphoma Research Foundation, Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer in adults and ranks third for children. There are over 70 different subtypes of the blood cancer and it accounts for almost 1-5 cancer diagnosis among young adults.

In early trading on Thursday morning, Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) stock gained 2% after the Food and Drug Administration approved the biopharmaceutical company’s lymphoma cancer therapy drug named Yescarta.

Yescarta had been originally developed by the company Kite Pharma, which Gilead purchased during August of this year for $11.9 billion. The new drug has been gaining popularity as the most highly anticipated drug on Wall Street in recent times. Throughout the world, Yescarta is expected to bring in $1.7 billion in sales over the course of the next five years.

The drug’s price in the United States will be a whopping $373,000. With over 100,000 American’s being diagnosed with a type of lymphoma each year, no wonder why the company’s stock is intriguing investors.

Gilead stated that Yescarta is a CAR-T drug which means that it is part of a group of drugs which work by reprogramming the body’s own immune cells so that the cells attack and kill the malignant cancer cells. Gilead’s Yescarta is now the second CAR-T drug approved by the FDA after Novartis’ AG (NVS) Kymriah in August.

Gilead said that it will manufacture Yescarta at the Kite’s El Segundo facility in California. The Kite’s El Segundo facility has an average manufacturing turnaround of 17 days, which is significant when manufacturing drugs for the deadly, fast-moving cancers.

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