Gilead's Aggressive Push Beyond HIV Treatments - Plans To Increase Cancer-Focused CAR-T Treatment Production

Zinger Key Points
  • Gilead has been expanding in the oncology space, expecting that cancer products will constitute a third of its revenue by the decade's end.
  • Executive emphasized initial growth would primarily emanate from academic hospitals, with significant expansion into more hospitals by 2025.

Gilead Sciences Inc’s GILD executive revealed the company’s plans to increase its production of cell therapy cancer treatments fourfold by 2026.

In an interview with Reuters, Cindy Perettie, the executive vice president of Gilead’s Kite cell therapy unit, said the advancements stem from significant enhancements in Gilead’s manufacturing processes. 

Related: Gilead’s Tecartus Dropped From FDA List Of CAR-T Therapy With Updated Label Warning Of “Risks Of Secondary Cancer’

Perettie noted that these improvements have increased the annual production of patient treatments from 6,000 to 10,000 within the past year.

Gilead’s focus on cell therapies, particularly its chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) treatments such as Yescarta and Tecartus, costing over $420,000, underscores its strategic shift towards oncology, aiming to diversify beyond its core HIV business. 

Last month, Gilead Sciences agreed to acquire CymaBay Therapeutics Inc CBAY for $32.50 per share in cash or a total equity value of $4.3 billion.

Since acquiring Kite in 2017 for nearly $12 billion, Gilead has been steadfast in expanding its footprint in the oncology space, Reuters noted, anticipating that oncology products will constitute a third of its revenue by the decade’s end.

Perettie highlighted Gilead’s efforts to streamline its production processes further, with the median turnaround time for Yescarta already reduced to 14 days. 

Gilead aims to bolster its market share for Yescarta and Tecartus by making these treatments accessible to a broader patient base.

The company’s strategy involves expanding its network of health center sites across the U.S. for administering therapy, alongside intensifying efforts to reach patients in existing treatment sites, particularly academic hospitals. 

Perettie emphasized that initial growth would primarily emanate from academic hospitals, with significant expansion into more hospitals anticipated by 2025.

Gilead anticipates augmenting the overall reach of CAR-T therapy in the U.S. and bolstering its market share. 

Despite a recent slowdown in CAR-T revenue growth, the company remains optimistic, with plans to revitalize growth later this year after flat or slightly up sales in the first quarter. 

Read Next: Crucial Battle Over Healthcare Mandates: Biden Administration Defends Preventive Care Coverage Amidst Legal Challenges.

Price Action: GILD shares are down 0.81% at $73.61 on the last check Friday.

Disclaimer: This content was partially produced with the help of AI tools and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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