Company Update (NASDAQ:KITE): Kite Pharma Inc Announces Publication of T-Cell Therapy Targeting Mutant KRAS in Cancer in New England Journal of Medicine


Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) announced that characterizations of T cell receptor candidates which it has licensed under the Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been published in the December 8, 2016 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

The research, led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Surgery Branch at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, and a scientific collaborator with Kite, describes a patient with KRAS mutant metastatic colorectal cancer who was successfully treated with T cells that are reactive to KRAS G12D mutation. This work follows previously reported treatment of a patient with advanced cholangiocarcinoma with T cells targeting a mutated erbb2 interacting protein.

“We are very excited to see the results of this landmark study conducted by Dr. Rosenberg and his team at the NCI. These findings represent proof of concept that T-cell technology directed against neoantigens can be utilized to treat solid tumors,” said David Chang, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer of Kite.

As published in the NEJM publication, mutations in the KRAS gene are thought to drive 95 percent of all pancreatic cancers and 45 percent of all colorectal cancers. The G12D mutation is the most common KRAS mutation and is estimated to occur in more than 50,000 new cases of cancer in the United States each year.

In September 2016, Kite announced that it had entered into an exclusive, worldwide license with NIH for intellectual property related to multiple TCR-based product candidates for the treatment of tumors expressing mutated KRAS antigens. These TCR product candidates were developed in the laboratories of Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., and James C. Yang, M.D., of the NCI. (Original Source)

Shares of Kite Pharma Inc closed last Friday at $45.89, up $0.82 or 1.82%. KITE has a 1-year high of $67.46 and a 1-year low of $38.41. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $48.17 and its 200-day moving average is $52.74.

On the ratings front, KITE stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Thomas Shrader reiterated a Buy rating on KITE. Separately, on December 7, Canaccord’s John Newman reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $75.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Thomas Shrader and John Newman have a yearly average loss of 4.0% and -14.4% respectively. Shrader has a success rate of 39% and is ranked #3705 out of 4273 analysts, while Newman has a success rate of 31% and is ranked #4190.

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.