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After months of urging from Wall Street, Gilead Sciences (GILD) finally made a big acquisition — paying nearly $12 billion in cash to buy Kite Pharmaceuticals (KITE), a leader in developing so-called CAR-T therapies that leverage the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

For Gilead, the move is a way to quickly diversify beyond its infectious-disease franchise. Although its HIV portfolio remains dominant, declining sales of its hepatitis C drugs have hurt its stock price. Moreover, this may finally help Gilead dive into the lucrative cancer market, where the company has suffered several notable setbacks.


But to what extent can this deal really pay off?

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