Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) announced that it has expanded its collaboration with theNetherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). Kite and the NKI have entered into an agreement under which Kite will receive from the NKI the exclusive option to license multiple T cell receptor (TCR) gene sequences for the development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapy candidates targeting solid tumors. Kite has also expanded its access to additional resources and research facilities through a master services agreement with the NKI.
“We are excited with the progress of the TCR research programs with Kite and look forward to further advancements of the programs and our collaboration,” said Professor René Medema, Director of NKI. “NKI believes that TCR technologies hold great potential for cancer care, and we are committed to making these new therapies a reality for patients.”
Kite Pharma EU, based in Amsterdam, will be conducting preclinical research related to candidates under the agreement with NKI. Kite Pharma EU is comprised of a leading team of immuno-oncology researchers and collaborators, including Professor Dr. Ton N. M. Schumacher, who serves as Chief Scientific Officer of Kite Pharma EU. Professor Dr. Schumacher, a pioneer in T cell biology and gene therapy, is a developer of Kite’s proprietary TCR-GENErator™ discovery platform, an industry-leading R&D engine for rapid, high-throughput identification of TCR-based product candidates.
“With Kite Pharma EU, we have established a central hub of cancer immunotherapy efforts in Europe, attracting leading scientific experts, researchers and collaborators in this field,” said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kite. “Kite’s relationship with the NKI, an internationally renowned cancer research and clinical institution, provides an important operational platform, as we advance TCR-based immuno-oncology product candidates.” (Original Source)
Shares of Kite Pharma closed last Friday at $63.63. KITE has a 1-year high of $89.21 and a 1-year low of $24.86. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $61.10 and its 200-day moving average is $60.74.
On the ratings front, Kite Pharma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 3, FBR analyst Edward White initiated coverage with a Hold rating on KITE and a price target of $64, which represents a slight upside potential from current levels. Separately, on August 17, Mizuho’s Peter Lawson maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $90.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Edward White and Peter Lawson have a total average return of -24.6% and 11.4% respectively. White has a success rate of 12.5% and is ranked #3571 out of 3755 analysts, while Lawson has a success rate of 61.3% and is ranked #350.
The street is mostly Bullish on KITE stock. Out of 7 analysts who cover the stock, 6 suggest a Buy rating and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $90, which represents a potential upside of 41.4% from where the stock is currently trading.
Kite Pharma Inc is a clinical-stage bio pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to eradicate cancer cells.