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SAN DIEGO — Gilead Sciences has spent years and billions of dollars to build out its oncology business, most notably by acquiring the cancer cell therapy developer Kite Pharma for $12 billion in 2017. But all that investment, which now includes the approved CAR-T treatment called Yescarta, has yet to deliver commercially.

Yescarta sales are growing each quarter (now totaling $175 million year to date), but the product barely makes a dent in Gilead’s overall income statement. By acquiring Kite, Gilead (GILD) became a leader in cell therapy but it has no presence in the larger and more lucrative immuno-oncology market where Merck (MRK), Roche (RHHBY), and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) dominate.

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