Kite Pharma is an American biotechnology company that develops cancer immunotherapy products, with a primary focus on genetically-engineered autologous T cell therapy with chimeric antigen receptors. Based in Santa Monica, California, it is a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences.
The company was founded in 2009 by Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, an Israeli-American oncologist, who served as the company's chairman, president and chief executive officer.[better source needed] Belldegrun had a co-founder in Joshua Kazam, who took on the role of Director.
On August 28, 2017, Gilead Sciences announced that it would acquire Kite Pharma for $11.9 billion in an all-cash deal, equating to $180 cash per share. The deal was expected to add the promising CAR-T candidate to Gilead's existing portfolio. The acquisition was completed in October 2017, when Kite Pharma's therapy, Yescarta, became the first CAR-T therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
In 2017, MIT Technology Review ranked Kite Pharma 7th in its annual list of the preceding year's 50 Smartest Companies.