Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) investors are busy throwing a party today following the news that healthcare giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) will acquire Kite for $180 per share, a premium of 29% to Friday’s closing price.
Kite CEO Arie Belldegrun commented, “From the release of our pivotal data for axi-cel, to our potential approval by the FDA, this is a year of milestones. Each and every accomplishment is a reflection of the talent that is unique to Kite. We are excited that Gilead, one of the most innovative companies in the industry, recognized this value and shares our passion for developing cutting-edge and potentially curative therapies for patients […] CAR T has the potential to become one of the most powerful anti-cancer agents for hematologic cancers. With Gilead’s expertise and support, we hope to fulfill that potential by rapidly accelerating our robust pipeline and next-generation research and manufacturing technologies for the benefit of patients around the world.”
Gilead CEO John F. Milligan stated, “The acquisition of Kite establishes Gilead as a leader in cellular therapy and provides a foundation from which to drive continued innovation for people with advanced cancers […] The field of cell therapy has advanced very quickly, to the point where the science and technology have opened a clear path toward a potential cure for patients. We are greatly impressed with the Kite team and what they have accomplished, and share their belief that cell therapy will be the cornerstone of treating cancer. Our similar cultures and histories of driving rapid innovation in order to bring more effective and safer products to as many patients as possible make this an excellent strategic fit.”
On the ratings front, Kite Pharma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 16, H.C. Wainwright analyst Corey Davis reiterated a Buy rating on KITE, with a price target of $155, which represents a potential upside of 11% from where the stock is currently trading. On August 9, Canaccord’s John Newman maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $120.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Corey Davis and John Newman have a yearly average loss of 1.2% and 2.0% respectively. Davis has a success rate of 40% and is ranked #3747 out of 4616 analysts, while Newman has a success rate of 39% and is ranked #4151.
Overall, 3 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 5 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $103.00 which is -26.0% under where the stock closed last Friday.
Kite Pharma, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company, which engages in the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to target and kill cancer cells. It uses engineered autologous cell therapy, which involves the genetic engineering of T cells. Its lead product candidate, KTE-C19, a CAR-based therapy, which seeks treat patients with refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-Cell lymphoma, and transformed follicular lymphoma.