Company Update (NASDAQ:KITE): Kite Pharma Inc and Vitruvian Networks Enter Strategic Partnership to Develop Best-In-Class Logistics and Data Analytics Software for Engineered T-cell Therapies at Commercial Scale


Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) and Vitruvian Networks, Inc., a pioneering cell and gene therapy software and analytics platform company co-founded by GE Ventures and the Mayo Clinic, announced today a strategic partnership to create a software solution to support commercial availability of T-cell therapies. Together, the parties will design and develop a platform for patients, physicians and treatment centers that enables commercial-scale ordering, logistics, monitoring and delivery of autologous cell therapies if they are FDA-approved, including axicabtagene ciloleucel (formerly known as KTE-C19), Kite’s lead investigational engineered T-cell therapy for aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

The collaboration brings together complementary capabilities from each company, including Kite’s clinical development, manufacturing, supply chain and commercial leadership in engineered T-cell therapy and Vitruvian’s hybrid expertise in building cloud-based software and data analytics solutions in cell and gene therapy manufacturing and delivery settings.

“Kite’s technology and services, which will be known as Kite Konnect™, will directly shape the overall experience of patients, physicians, and treatment centers as engineered T-cell therapies potentially become available commercially,” said Tim Moore, Executive Vice President of Technical Operations for Kite. “We are committed to advanced solutions that improve speed and customer satisfaction, streamline logistics and ensure excellence for chain of identity and custody which is essential for safety and quality. Our strategic partnership with Vitruvian is a key component of our overall technology strategy and builds on our research collaboration with GE Global Research to automate manufacturing of engineered T-cell therapies.”

“We are honored to work with Kite to accelerate the design and development of Vitruvian Network’s cell and gene therapy software and data analytics platform,” said Amy DuRoss, Chief Executive Officer of Vitruvian Networks. “Companies like Kite, who sit on the leading edge of scientific innovation, require a cloud-based, design-led solution to ensure they have a safe, cost-effective, and easy-to-use platform to serve a growing number of patients who are desperate for these potentially lifesaving therapies. Our software and analytics solution will help Kite and other cell therapy producers deliver their treatments to more patients, expediting growth of the personalized medicine industry.”

Under the terms of the agreement, both parties will contribute resources and relevant experience to the partnership. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed. (Original Source)

Shares of Kite Pharma Inc closed yesterday at $47.84, up $1.95 or 4.25%. 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 $48.16 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 yesterday, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Thomas Shrader reiterated a Buy rating on KITE. Separately, on December 7, Canaccord Genuity’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 -4.3% and -15.2% respectively. Shrader has a success rate of 38% and is ranked #3721 out of 4269 analysts, while Newman has a success rate of 30% and is ranked #4185.

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. The company was founded by Arie S. Belldegrun, James S. Economou and Joshua A. Kazam in June 2009 and is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA.