Amgen, Kite Pharma disclose collaboration to develop, commercialise CAR T-cell therapies

Amgen and Kite Pharma entered into an exclusive collaboration to develop and commercialise the next generation of novel chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell immunotherapies based on Kite's engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT) platform and Amgen's array of cancer targets, the companies announced Monday. Sean E. Harper, executive vice president of R&D at Amgen, remarked "the intersection of immunology and oncology represents one of the most promising approaches to delivering significant impact for patients with cancer."

Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen will pay Kite an upfront payment of $60 million plus up to $525 million in milestone payments per Amgen programme and tiered high single- to double-digit royalties for sales and the license of Kite's intellectual property for CAR T cell products. Meanwhile, Amgen will be eligible for up to $525 million in milestone payments for each Kite programme plus tiered single-digit royalties. Further financial terms of the collaboration were not revealed.

Commenting on the news, RBC Capital Markets analysts noted that the agreement focuses on future immunotherapy targets and does not include Kite's lead product CD19. The analysts said they see the collaboration as positive for Amgen and expressed a need for additional agreements, adding that they would have also liked the deal to have included CD19.

For related analysis, see ViewPoints: Kite snatches back some CAR T spotlight with Amgen deal.

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