According to Yee, competition from Novartis AG (ADR)'s (NYSE: NVS) CTL019 CAR-T isn't too concerning as Novartis' prior studies showed a key manufacturing failure rate of 12 percent versus Kite's manufacturing failure rate of just 1 percent.
As noted by STAT, Kite and Novartis are racing to gain approval for their respective gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into "cancer killers."
Yee also noted Novartis' progress is a few quarters behind Kite's while at the same time Novartis cut back its headcount in 2016, which may give Kite the advantage for the time being in a one-on-one comparison.
Yee also argued that if Kite gets approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for fast approval to meet the need of the cancer population, then the question of M&A comes into play.
The prospect of FDA approval could make it more attractive to the likes of Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) after the company acknowledged that M&A is a priority for 2017. The analyst argued that acquiring Kite would give Gilead exposure to an un-traditional cancer product that will generate revenue growth.
There's A Historical Precedent For The Biotech Selloff
Icahn's (Potential) Move Into Biotech
Latest Ratings for KITE
|Mar 2017||Stifel Nicolaus||Downgrades||Buy||Hold|
|Feb 2017||Standpoint Research||Reiterates||Buy||Buy|
View More Analyst Ratings for KITE
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