An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into cancer killers worked in a major study, with more than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients showing no sign of disease six months after a single treatment, Kite Pharma Inc. said Tuesday.
In all, 82% of patients had their cancer shrink at least by half at some point in the study.
Shares of Santa Monica-based Kite soared 24.5% to close at $70.77.
Kite is racing Novartis AG to become the first to win approval of the treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy, in the U.S. It could become the nation's first approved gene therapy.
A hopeful sign: The number in complete remission at six...