FDA OKs 2nd gene therapy for blood cancer; 1st for adults

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U.S. regulators have approved a second gene therapy for blood cancer.

The one-time treatment is for aggressive lymphoma in adults.

The Food and Drug Administration approved sales of the therapy from Kite Pharma on Wednesday.

The treatment involves removing immune system cells called T cells from a patient, reprogramming them to target and kill cancer cells and giving them back to the patient. It uses the same technology as the first gene therapy approved in the U.S., Novartis AG’s treatment for childhood leukemia.

Kite became a subsidiary of drugmaker Gilead Sciences this month. Gilead said the therapy will cost $373,000 per patient.