Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) announced that they have entered into a partnership to enhance the development of Kite’s lead product candidate, KTE-C19, for the treatment of patients with refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). KTE-C19 is an investigational therapy in which a patient’s T cells are genetically modified to express a Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) designed to target CD19, a protein expressed on the cell surface of B cell lymphomas and leukemias.
Under the collaboration, LLS will launch a broad scope educational program focusing on CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of blood cancers, as well as support outreach for clinical trial enrollment. LLS also will contribute up to $2.5 million, through the Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP), to help fund Kite’s ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical study of KTE-C19 (see ClinicalTrials.gov, using Identifier NCT: 02348216), which is designed to evaluate safety and efficacy in the treatment of patients with refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), as well as two rare lymphomas – primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma (PMBCL) and transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL). Based on the progress of the program, Kite will make certain milestone payments to LLS and provide financial support to LLS for its rollout of the education program.
“LLS is committed to supporting the development of potentially curative therapies for patients diagnosed with blood cancers, and we view KTE-C19 as a candidate with great potential for patients with lymphoma who have limited treatment options,” said Louis J. DeGennaro, Ph.D., LLS president and chief executive officer. “We are thrilled to partner with a company that has a leading presence in CAR T-cell therapy and a commitment to educate patients.”
“Kite is honored by this collaboration with LLS, as it signals their belief that KTE-C19 is a therapy that could positively affect the lives of the many patients diagnosed with blood cancers. I am excited that LLS, through its educational program, will properly inform doctors, patients and the general public of the promising future of precision immunotherapies for cancer,” said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Kite’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Pivotal results from the KTE-C19 DLBCL study are expected in 2016 and, if promising, could lead to the potential launch and commercialization of KTE-C19 in 2017. Kite also plans to launch an additional three trials of KTE-C19 before the end of 2015 in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). (Original Source)
Shares of Kite Pharma Inc closed yesterday at $60.97. KITE has a 1-year high of $89.21 and a 1-year low of $21. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $56.72 and its 200-day moving average is $61.25.
On the ratings front, Kite Pharma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 24, Mizuho analyst Peter Lawson reiterated a Buy rating on KITE, with a price target of $90, which implies an upside of 47.6% from current levels. Separately, on the same day, Canaccord Genuity’s John Newman 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, Peter Lawson and John Newman have a total average return of 16.7% and 17.1% respectively. Lawson has a success rate of 69.6% and is ranked #293 out of 3683 analysts, while Newman has a success rate of 55.2% and is ranked #154.
Overall, 4 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $84.50 which is 38.6% above where the stock closed yesterday.
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.