Kite Pharma (KITE) Reports Exclusive License with NIH for TCR Product Candidates
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Kite Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: KITE), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T-cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced that the Company has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for intellectual property related to multiple T-cell receptor (TCR) based product candidates for the treatment of tumors expressing mutated KRAS antigens.
Kite expects the first of the licensed KRAS product candidates to enter clinical study in 2016 as part of the Company’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) under the direction of Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Surgery Branch at the NCI.
KRAS is one of the most commonly mutated genes in all of human cancer and is involved in a broad range of solid tumors, such as pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancer, for which there are significant unmet medical needs.
“Neoantigens are uniquely present in tumors but absent in healthy tissue which makes them attractive targets for using our TCR technology,” stated Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Kite's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Kite has taken an important step toward building the first therapeutic franchise of its kind for cancers driven by KRAS mutations and has further expanded its efforts in building a TCR portfolio across key classes of antigens, including cancer testis and viral antigens.”
Pursuant to the terms of the license agreement, NIH will receive from Kite an upfront payment and certain clinical, regulatory, and sales milestone payments, as well as royalties on net sales of products covered by the license.
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