Kite Pharma in HIV T Cell Receptor Pact

Kite Pharma, Inc. and bluebird bio, Inc. have formed a collaboration agreement to co-develop and co-commercialize second-generation T cell receptor (TCR) product candidates directed against the human papillomavirus type 16 E6 (HPV-16 E6) oncoprotein incorporating gene editing and lentiviral technologies. bluebird bio has a platform comprised of lentiviral gene-delivery and gene-editing capabilities, with a focus on rare diseases and cancer immunotherapies. Kite has a broad existing pipeline of TCR product candidates and will continue to develop its existing and wholly owned TCR programs directed against high-risk HPV, which are unaffected by this collaboration, including HPV-16 E6 TCR, currently in a Phase I study, and HPV-16 E7 TCR.

Under the agreement, both companies will jointly develop and commercialize second-generation TCR product candidates directed against the HPV-16 E6 oncoprotein, incorporating gene editing to efficiently modify certain genes to enhance T cell function. In addition, the companies will explore using lentiviral vectors to optimize delivery of HPV-16 E6 TCRs into patient T cells.

Kite will lead the program in the US and bluebird bio will have the option to lead the program in the European Union. Both companies will share overall costs, including research and development and sales and marketing expenses, and profits will be equally split between the companies. Additionally, Kite will have a co-promotion option in the European Union, and bluebird will have a co-promotion option in the US.

Source: Kite Pharma

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