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Medical Health Aged Care


Gilead Sciences 3 mins read

Townsville University Hospital now qualified and able to provide CAR T therapy for people living with certain blood cancers  


Melbourne, Australia, 11 July 2024 – Kite, a Gilead company, today welcomed the opening of Australia’s first regional Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell Treatment Centre at the Townsville University Hospital (TUH) in Far North Queensland. At an event to mark the opening of the TUH CAR T Treatment Centre, Gilead congratulated the Queensland Government for leading the way in narrowing the healthcare inequity gap by improving access to innovative cancer treatments for people impacted by blood cancers living in regional areas.


Queensland is currently the only state in Australia to have a CAR T Treatment Centre in both a metropolitan and regional area. With the TUH CAR T Treatment Centre now open, suitable patients in Far North Queensland can access CAR T treatment in Townsville, instead of having to travel to Brisbane or beyond to access treatment.


Ms Sharon Millman, CEO of Lymphoma Australia welcomed the TUH CAR T Treatment Centre, saying it would help lessen the significant burden on patients and families from rural and regional areas who would normally have to relocate temporarily to Brisbane to undergo treatment.


“CAR T therapy is now firmly established in the treatment pathway for lymphomas, so we are extremely pleased to see the first regional treatment site in Australia now open and able to offer CAR T therapy options to eligible lymphoma patients living in Far North Queensland,” Ms Millman said.


“This is a great first step towards more equitable access to CAR T for Australians living away from existing Treatment Centres. Where you live should not limit your ability to access cancer treatment, and we’d love to see other states and territories certified and able to offer CAR T treatment to eligible patients as soon as possible to reduce the significant burden caused by travel and temporary relocation,” Ms Millman added.


In Australia, CAR T Treatment Centres are currently located in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. They include Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre and the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Royal Prince Alfred and Westmead Hospitals in Sydney and Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth.


Gilead echoed Lymphoma Australia’s support for the new TUH CAR T Treatment Centre and their call for continued efforts to ensure greater equity in access to CAR T.


Jaime McCoy, General Manager, Gilead Sciences Australia and New Zealand commented “We believe Australians living with blood cancers who are eligible for CAR T should have an option to receive treatment as close to their home as possible, particularly as this highly specialised treatment requires remaining near the hospital for several weeks. This can place a significant burden on patients and their families.


“We remain committed to working with governments, patient advocacy groups and the clinical community to establish much needed additional CAR T treatment centres, particularly in SA, ACT, Tasmania and the NT where disappointingly there are no centres able to give treatment at all, meaning that patients must then relocate interstate for a period of time” she added.


- Ends -

Issued by SenateSHJ on behalf of Gilead Sciences.

Notes to editor: In relation to this media announcement, no compensation was provided to Ms Sharon Millman and the opinions expressed are her own.

About Kite 

Kite, a Gilead Company, is a biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California, with commercial manufacturing operations in North America and Europe. Kite is engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies. The company is focused on chimeric antigen receptor and T cell receptor engineered cell therapies. 

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.


Based in Melbourne, Gilead Sciences Australia and New Zealand employs over 100 people.


For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company’s website at, or follow Gilead on Twitter (@GileadSciences)


KITE PHARMA and the KITE LOGO are registered trademarks of Kite Pharma, Inc. GILEAD and the GILEAD Logo are registered trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc.or its related companies. Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd. Level 28, 385 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000. AU-UNB-0843. Date of preparation July 2024.


Key Facts:

B-roll footage of CAR T mode of action and manufacturing available here:

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