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The CenterWatch Weekly, September 11, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

Novartis gets FDA approval for first-ever CAR-T cancer therapy; other applications on the horizon

The emerging field of modifying and deploying a patient’s own cells to fight cancer just got some big legs under it with the late August approval of a new treatment for pediatric and young adult leukemia. The therapy, known as chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T), was awarded by the FDA to Novartis for Kymriah, “a novel immunocellular therapy.”

Gilead’s $12 billion acquisition of Kite ignites speculation about an M&A boom in biotech

The recent $11.9 billion acquisition of Kite Pharma by Gilead has turned up the temperature in the 2017 M&A landscape, transforming a lackluster market into one now brimming with potential as big pharma perks up and takes notice of smaller biotechs with de-risked candidates. The only other mega-deal this year has been Johnson and Johnson’s acquisition of Swiss biotech Actelion for $30 billion—the pharma giant’s biggest deal ever, which was announced in January. Yet the two deals are fundamentally different, with Gilead’s viewed as a potential market catalyst while Johnson and Johnson’s was not.


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