Amgen, Kite Pharma Form Immunotherapy PactBy
Amgen and Kite Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company, have formed a strategic research collaboration and license agreement to develop and commercialize the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies based on Kite’s engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT) platform and Amgen’s array of cancer targets.
Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will contribute cancer targets, and Kite will leverage its proprietary CAR platform, research and development (R&D), and manufacturing capabilities, and expertise. Kite will be responsible for conducting all preclinical research and cell manufacturing and processing through investigational new drug (IND) filing. Each company will then be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of its respective CAR therapeutic candidates, including all related expenses. Kite will receive from Amgen an upfront payment of $60 million, as well as funding for R&D costs through IND filing. Kite will be eligible to receive up to $525 million in milestone payments per Amgen program based on the successful completion of regulatory and commercialization milestones, plus tiered high single- to double-digit royalties for sales and the license of Kite’s intellectual property for CAR T cell products. Amgen is eligible to receive up to $525 million in milestone payments per Kite program, plus tiered single-digit sales royalties. Further terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.
Kite Pharma’s broadly enabling eACT technology platform allows a patient’s T cells to be genetically modified to express cancer-targeting receptors. Engineered CAR T cells contain a single chain antibody domain, which recognizes and binds to a cell surface tumor antigen as well as intracellular T cell-activating domains. CAR T cells are designed to traffic directly to tumor sites and become activated upon engagement with the target tumor antigen, selectively eradicating the tumor cells.