Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) announced that the Company has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for intellectual property related to multiple T-cell receptor (TCR) based product candidates for the treatment of tumors expressing mutated KRAS antigens.
Kite expects the first of the licensed KRAS product candidates to enter clinical study in 2016 as part of the Company’s Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) under the direction of Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Surgery Branch at the NCI.
KRAS is one of the most commonly mutated genes in all of human cancer and is involved in a broad range of solid tumors, such as pancreatic, colorectal, and lung cancer, for which there are significant unmet medical needs.
“Neoantigens are uniquely present in tumors but absent in healthy tissue which makes them attractive targets for using our TCR technology,” statedArie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Kite’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Kite has taken an important step toward building the first therapeutic franchise of its kind for cancers driven by KRAS mutations and has further expanded its efforts in building a TCR portfolio across key classes of antigens, including cancer testis and viral antigens.”
Pursuant to the terms of the license agreement, NIH will receive from Kite an upfront payment and certain clinical, regulatory, and sales milestone payments, as well as royalties on net sales of products covered by the license. (Original Source)
Shares of Kite Pharma closed today at $55.68, down $0.33 or -0.59%. KITE has a 1-year high of $89.84 and a 1-year low of $38.41. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $58.62 and its 200-day moving average is $51.41.
On the ratings front, KITE stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Jefferies analyst Biren Amin reiterated a Buy rating on KITE, with a price target of $72, which represents a potential upside of 29% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on September 14, Cowen’s Eric Schmidt reiterated a Buy rating on the stock.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Biren Amin and Eric Schmidt have a total average return of 10.1% and 24.8% respectively. Amin has a success rate of 60% and is ranked #220 out of 4166 analysts, while Schmidt has a success rate of 57% and is ranked #41.
The street is mostly Bullish on KITE stock. Out of 11 analysts who cover the stock, 9 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $76.67, which implies an upside of 37.2% from current levels.
Kite Pharma, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company, which engages in the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to target and kill cancer cells. It uses engineered autologous cell therapy, which involves the genetic engineering of T cells. Its lead product candidate, KTE-C19, a CAR-based therapy, which seeks treat patients with refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-Cell lymphoma, and transformed follicular lymphoma.