Mergers and Acquisitions

Date: 2017-12-07

Type of information: Company acquisition

Acquired company: Cell Design Labs (USA - CA)

Acquiring company: Gilead Sciences (USA - CA)

Amount: $567 million


  • • On December 7, 2017, Gilead Sciences announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which they have agreed to acquire Cell Design Labs, gaining new technology platforms that will enhance research and development efforts in cellular therapy. Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Cell Design Labs , which includes the approximately 12.2 percent of shares of Cell Design Labs that are currently held by Kite, for up to approximately $567 million . 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. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to close shortly.
  • Citi acted as financial advisor to the Cell Design Labs in connection with the transaction.


  • Last October, Gilead Sciences has completed  the acquisition of Kite Pharma.  Now both companies are strenghtening their research and development efforts in cellular therapy through the acquisition of Cell Design Labs. This company is developing two propriety technology platforms:
  • - synNotch™, a synthetic gene expression system that responds to external cues which, among other applications, can be deployed to engineer chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cells that require dual antigen recognition for activation,
  • - Throttle™, an "on switch" that modulates CAR T activity using small molecules.
  • The addition of these technologies to existing Kite research and development programs could lead to the treatment of a broader range of hematological malignancies and solid tumors, and potentially offer improved selectivity and safety of future treatments.
  • Additionally, Cell Design Labs is developing several pre-clinical product candidates, including therapies for prostate cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma that use the synNotch technology. The company's lead pre-clinical candidate targets multiple myeloma.

Related: Technology - Services - Cancer - Oncology

Is general: Yes