Yescarta was developed by biotech company Kite Pharma, which was acquired by Gilead Sciences in an $11.9 billion deal in August 2017. Based on the ZUMA-1 trial, Kite submitted to the FDA a biologics license application for Yescarta in March 2017 for the treatment of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The FDA granted approval on October 18, 2017 for the second-line treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In June 2018, The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended marketing approval of Yescarta. On August 27, 2018, the European Commission granted marketing authorization for Yescarta as a treatment for adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) is a treatment for large B-cell lymphoma that has failed conventional treatment. T cells are removed from a person with lymphoma and genetically engineered to produce a specific T-cell receptor. The resulting chimeric antigen receptor T cells or "CAR-Ts" that react to the cancer are then given back to the person to populate the bone marrow. The T-cells are engineered to target CD19 receptors on the cancerous B cells.