Santa Monica, CA – June 6, 2014 – Kite Pharma, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for cancer, today announced that it has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to certain intellectual property related to T Cell Receptor (TCR)-based product candidates that target the NY-ESO-1 antigen for the treatment of cancers expressing NY-ESO-1.
TCR product candidates are designed to recognize antigens irrespective of their cellular localization and as presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on the tumor cell. The NY-ESO-1 antigen may be expressed in numerous tumor types, including sarcoma, bladder cancer, esophageal carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, breast carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, prostate carcinoma, multiple myeloma, hepatocellular carcinoma and melanoma, among other tumor types.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial of a murine TCR product candidate targeting the NY-ESO -1 antigen at the NIH pursuant to a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between Kite and the NCI. Kite is investigating murine (mouse)-derived TCR technology platforms developed by the NCI Surgery Branch for the treatment of solid tumors under the CRADA. Preclinical evaluation in the Surgery Branch of murine TCRs targeting the NY-ESO-1 antigen identified a murine TCR with comparable or enhanced activity relative to the equivalent human-based NY-ESO-1 TCR.
Pursuant to the terms of the license agreement, Kite will make certain clinical, regulatory and sales milestone payments to the NIH. In addition, Kite shall pay the NIH royalties on net sales of products covered by the license.
About Kite Pharma
Kite Pharma, Inc. is a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapy products, with a primary focus on eACT™ designed to restore the immune system's ability to recognize and eradicate tumors. In partnership with the NCI Surgery Branch through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Kite is advancing a pipeline of proprietary eACT™ product candidates, both CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) and TCR (T cell receptor) products, directed to a wide range of cancer indications. Kite's management team has a proven track record of building successful biotechnology companies and successfully developing novel immunotherapies and other oncology treatments. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA.