Kite Pharma, Inc.
Jan 7, 2016

Kite Pharma Expands Its Clinical and Research Partnership With the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for Next-Generation CAR Programs to Treat B-Cell Malignancies

Kite to Collaborate With the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch in Addition to Its Existing Partnership With Steven A. Rosenberg M.D., Ph.D., and the Surgery Branch of the NCI

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kite Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE) today announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the NCI for the research and clinical development of a fully human anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) product candidate for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias.  Under the CRADA, Kite will collaborate with James (Jim) N. Kochenderfer, M.D., an investigator in the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch of the NCI, to evaluate this product candidate in a Phase 1 clinical study this year. 

In addition, the newly established CRADA will focus on the development of next-generation CAR programs directed against other novel antigens for the treatment of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias.  Kite will also continue to advance multiple CAR and T cell receptor (TCR) programs under its existing CRADA with the Surgery Branch of the NCI, led by Dr. Rosenberg, a recognized pioneer in immuno-oncology and special advisor to Kite.

"We are delighted to expand our partnership with the NCI by working with the Experimental Transplantation and Immunology Branch.  Our close collaboration with the Surgery Branch over the past three years has enabled us to advance the science behind T cell therapy and to expand our clinical product candidate portfolio at Kite. The new CRADA is a natural step in our life cycle management strategy to further improve the success of CAR therapy for patients with advanced B-cell malignancies," said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.

"Dr. Kochenderfer is a world renowned expert in T cell therapy who pioneered innovative CAR T therapies for patients with aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma," added David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development.  "His seminal research in anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy has been instrumental for our lead product candidate, KTE-C19, which is currently in four Kite-sponsored clinical trials in B-cell malignancies. We look forward to expanding our successful collaboration on next generation technologies with Jim."

About Kite Pharma, Inc.

Kite Pharma, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapy products, with a primary focus on engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT™) designed to restore the immune system's ability to recognize and eradicate tumors. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite Pharma, please visit Sign up to follow @KitePharma on Twitter at

About Kite's ZUMA Clinical Programs

Phase 2 Pivotal
Refractory DLBCL, PMBCL, TFLPhase 2 enrolling
Phase 2 Pivotal
Relapsed/refractory MCLPhase 2 enrolling
Phase 1/2 Pivotal
Relapsed/refractory Adult ALLPhase 1/2 enrolling
Phase 1/2 Pivotal
Relapsed/refractory Pediatric ALLPhase 1/2 enrolling

DLBCL = diffuse large B cell lymphoma
PMBCL = primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma
TFL = transformed follicular lymphoma
MCL = mantle cell lymphoma
ALL = acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Kite may, in some cases, use terms such as "predicts," "believes," "potential," "proposed," "continue," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "may," "could," "might," "will," "should" or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Kite's expectations regarding the ability and timing to initiate a Phase 1 clinical study of the fully human anti-CD19 CAR product candidate, and the ability and willingness of the NCI to continue research and development activities relating to technologies pursuant to the existing and additional CRADA. Various factors may cause differences between Kite's expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail in Kite's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including without limitation in Kite's Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 8, 2015. Any forward-looking statements that Kite makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Kite assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

CONTACT: Kite Pharma, Inc.
Cynthia M. Butitta
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

For Media: Justin Jackson
For Investor Inquiries: Lisa Burns
Burns McClellan
(212) 213-0006