Kite Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE) announced that its European subsidiary has entered into a research and license agreement with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) to identify and develop T cell receptor (TCR) product candidates targeting solid tumors that are associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 infection.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kite Pharma EU will partner with the LUMC Department of Clinical Oncology and Professor Dr. Sjoerd van der Burg, a leader in the research of HPV-associated cancers.   Kite will also receive an exclusive option to license multiple TCR gene sequences for the development and commercialization of product candidates.

“This collaboration expands our existing TCR franchise targeting HPV-associated cancers and creates an opportunity to broaden the coverage of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) types across different patient populations,” said David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President of Research and Development of Kite. “LUMC is an ideal partner, given its deep experience with the immune response to solid tumors, and complements our existing research and development capabilities in Europe.”

Kite Pharma EU, based in Amsterdam, is focused on the discovery and development of tumor-specific TCRs for broad use in cancer treatment based on its TCR-GENErator™ platform.  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. (Original Source)

Shares of Kite Pharma Inc closed yesterday at $54.71. KITE has a 1-year high of $89.84 and a 1-year low of $44.01. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $66.73 and its 200-day moving average is $66.04.

On the ratings front, Kite Pharma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 15, Standpoint Research analyst Ronnie Moas upgraded KITE to Buy. Separately, on December 7, FBR’s Edward White maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $72.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Ronnie Moas and Edward White have a total average return of 6.2% and -31.7% respectively. Moas has a success rate of 67.1% and is ranked #33 out of 3609 analysts, while White has a success rate of 0.0% and is ranked #3490.

The street is mostly Bullish on KITE stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 7 suggest a Buy rating and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $111.00, which implies an upside of 102.9% from current levels.

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.