Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: KITE) has been busy lately, announcing two separate license deals in the last week of July. On July 25, it acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to technology that advances the development of off-the-shelf allogeneic T-cell therapies from renewable pluripotent stem cells, also known as the ATO system, in a deal with the University of California, Los Angeles. In connection with this agreement, Kite entered into a sponsored research agreement with UCLA to support ongoing preclinical research for the ATO system.
Two days later, Kite entered into a license agreement with the National Institute of Health for the license to its fully human anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor-based product candidate directed against B-cell malignancies.
This was not Kite’s first deal with The National Institute of Health, as they purchased a license to T-cell receptor candidates in June of 2014 for an undisclosed amount. Then, in 2015, Kite Pharma entered into another license deal for T-cell receptors with the Netherlands Cancer Institute. This deal followed Kite’s $21 million purchase in March of 2015 of T-Cell Factory B.V., a company focused on discovering and developing tumor-specific T-cell receptors.