Novartis’ CAR-T therapy was the first approved in U.S. — here’s how to invest in the space

On Wednesday, the first of a new type of cancer-fighting cell therapy called CAR-T was approved in the U.S.: Novartis AG’s Kymriah, intended to treat young people with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

The science behind Kymriah and other CAR-T therapies is radical, even revolutionary, experts say: a patient’s immune T-cells are taken from the body, re-engineered to better fight cancer and then replaced in the body to do just that.

Novartis’ NVS, -0.57% approval marks “the very early innings of a potential decade-long growth cycle,” said Janney analyst Paul Knight. Kite Pharma — which will be acquired by Gilead Sciences Inc.

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