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Second One From Kite

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a second gene therapy, this one from Kite Pharmaceuticals, the New York Times reports. The agency approved Novartis' Kymriah earlier this year.

Kite's Yescarta, a CAR T-cell therapy in which patients' own T cells are removed and genetically engineered, has been given the OK to treat adults with certain types of large B-cell lymphoma who have not responded or relapsed after two rounds treatment. Patients would receive a single treatment, Fortune notes.

In a clinical trial of more than a hundred patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma, or transformed follicular lymphoma, 54 percent of patients experienced complete remission, while 28 percent had partial remissions, according to the Times. It adds that after six months, 80 percent of the patients were still alive and after nine months, 39 percent were still in complete remission.

"Many patients were seriously contemplating their own mortality," Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Caron Jacobson, who was part of the study, tells the paper.

According to Fortune, Kite, which is part of Gilead Sciences, has set the list price for Yescarta at $373,000.

The company hopes that in the future that Yescarta will be approved for earlier stages of lymphoma as well, the Times adds.

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