Kite Pharma expands R&D collaboration with National Cancer Institute
Kite Pharma, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT) products for the treatment of cancer based in Santa Monica, Calif., has amended its Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The amendment will encompass emerging areas of research in the immune response to tumor neo-antigens, truly tumor-specific antigens generated as tumors accumulate genetic mutations. In addition, new T cell receptor (TCR) and new chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) product candidates targeting solid tumors have been added to the collaboration.
The amendment broadens Kite's ongoing research collaboration with the surgery branch at the NCI, led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D. and provides additional product candidates for Kite's growing pipeline.
"Neo-antigen immunotherapy will allow us to design a cancer treatment that can modify a patient's T cells to recognize the unique genetic profile of the patient's own tumor. This offers a new paradigm in cancer care and extends the significant progress we have achieved in collaboration with Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery, and his clinical research teams at the NCI," said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Kite Pharma's president and CEO.
Under Kite's amended agreement with the NCI, the additional programs will encompass:
- Methods of rapidly identifying and developing TCR product candidates targeted against neo-antigens
- Optimizing new methods to manufacture this new class of individualized therapies
- Developing additional TCR product candidates retrovirally engineered to target tumor antigens, including for the treatment of colorectal and lung cancers.
David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Kite Pharma's executive vice president, R&D, and chief medical officer, said, "This year, we have substantially broadened our plan and vision for clinical development, engaging in a strategic R&D collaboration with Amgen, combining their cancer targets with our T cell platform technology, as well as expanding our agreement with Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to develop novel approaches to CAR T cell therapy. The new research under our CRADA with the NCI further extends our clinical programs, particularly in regard to new TCR approaches."