Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) stock gained 2.2% on heavy trading volume late Thursday, Oct. 19, after the FDA approved the biopharmaceutical company's Yescarta lymphoma cancer therapy drug.
Yescarta was developed by Kite Pharma, which Gilead acquired in August for $11.9 billion. The new drug is among the most highly anticipated on Wall Street and is expected to tally $1.7 billion in sales throughout the world over the next five years. Yescarta will cost $373,000 in the U.S.
Yescarta is a CAR-T drug, meaning it is part of a group of drugs that reprogram the body's own immune cells to attack and kill malignant cancer cells, Gilead said in a statement. Gilead's Yescarta is the second CAR-T drug approved by the FDA after Novartis' AG (NVS) Kymriah was approved in August.
Gilead will manufacture Yescarta at Kite's El Segundo, California, facility. The facility has a median manufacturing turnaround of 17 days, which is important in creating drugs for often aggressive, fast-moving cancers.
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