Kite Pharma Inks Deal to Spur Move into European T-Cell Market

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Kite Pharma announced that it acquired T-Cell Factory B.V. in an effort to strengthen its T-cell portfolio.


On March 17, 2015, Kite Pharma announced that it would expand its T-cell capabilities with the acquisition of privately-held Dutch company, T-Cell Factory B.V. (TCF), which has now been renamed Kite Pharma EU. As part of the €20 million (approximately $21 million USD) acquisition, TCF brings Kite Pharma TCR-GENErator, its proprietary technology platform that “rapidly and systematically discovers, characterizes, and selects tumor-specific TCRs [T-cell receptors] of therapeutic value,” according to a press release.

The acquisition also allows Kite Pharma to move further into the European market by providing access to European clinical manufacturing facilities. Earlier in 2015, Kite Pharma announced that it would further its T-cell platform with commercial manufacturing facility expansion in California. The addition of two facilities would support clinical trials, as well of the commercial launch and supply of KTE-C19. The lead investigational drug is an anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy in which the patients’ T-cells are genetically modified to express a CAR that will target CD19 (a protein found on the cell surface of B cell lymphomas and leukemias), according to a press release detailing clinical results. 


"The acquisition of TCF and its novel discovery and development platform provides Kite with a strong position in TCR gene therapy for cancer. In addition, with our strategic plans for expanding clinical operations to ex-US sites, Kite's relationship with NKI, an internationally renowned research and clinical institution, provides an important operational platform and potential access to investigators, clinical sites and manufacturing facilities in Amsterdam," said Arie Belldegrun, MD, FACS, president and CEO of Kite Pharma, in a press release.

Sources: Kite PharmaClinical Trials