A recent strategic agreement was recently announced by Amgen and Kite Pharma, with the goal to develop and commercialize new Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell immunotherapies.
These engineered T cells derive from Kite’s proprietary autologous cell therapy (eACT) platform along with Amgen’s wide-ranging selection of cancer targets.
Kite’s eACT platform is based on the genetic modification of a patient’s peripheral blood T cells, allowing them to express receptor molecules that enable an efficient T cell activation, enhancing these cells’ cytotoxic potential.
The agreement states that Amgen will provide its cancer targets while Kite will provide its CAR platform along with research and development capacities and technical knowledge. Kite will also conduct future preclinical research along with cellular expansion and handling, filing an application for Investigational New Drug (IND).
After these developmental strategies, each individual company will commercialize their selected CAR candidates and will be responsible for all expenses linked to these products.
Amgen will pay Kite an initial sum of $60 million, from a total of $525 million, depending on the achieved milestones.
“The intersection of immunology and oncology represents one of the most promising approaches to delivering significant impact for patients with cancer,” Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen, said in a press release. “With our existing immuno-oncology portfolio of cutting-edge technologies and expertise, we believe joining forces with Kite Pharma will leverage our targets and their leading CAR T cell platform to advance another new promising therapeutic approach to fight cancer.”
“Amgen is an ideal partner for us, based on their strong presence in oncology and the company’s broad array of cancer targets optimally suited for combining with our CAR technologies. We are proud to announce this unique collaboration and its validation of our R&D expertise, intellectual property position, and therapeutic manufacturing and processing capabilities,” added Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Kite Pharma’s president and chief executive officer. “We believe that the therapeutic candidates resulting from the collaboration will have the potential to dramatically transform CAR approaches and to become some of the most powerful therapies for the treatment of cancer.”