SANTA MONICA, Calif. & UTRECHT, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), and Gadeta B.V., a privately-held company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer immunotherapies based on gamma delta T cell receptors (TCRs), have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop novel gamma delta TCR therapies in various cancers. Under the financial terms, Kite will provide research and development (R&D) funding for the collaboration and Gadeta will be eligible to receive future payments upon achievement of certain regulatory milestones. In addition, Kite will make an upfront purchase of equity in Gadeta from Gadeta’s shareholders and may acquire additional equity in Gadeta upon achievement of certain R&D milestones. Kite will have the exclusive option to acquire Gadeta.
Gadeta has developed a proprietary technology to engineer alpha beta T cells with gamma delta TCRs, called TEGs, for the potential treatment of various hematological cancers and solid tumors. This platform has the potential to combine the advantages of conventional T cells, which express alpha and beta TCR chains, with TCRs derived from gamma delta T cells that recognize novel targets in cancer cells, according to preclinical models evaluating the lead TEG candidates. Unlike alpha beta T cells, gamma delta TCRs do not require expression of cell surface proteins (major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules) for target recognition, and their ability to recognize novel targets under stress or metabolic conditions offer an attractive approach to develop potentially effective cell therapies in solid tumors.
Gadeta was founded in 2015 by Professor Jürgen Kuball, Mark de Boer, Utrecht Holdings and Medicxi, its founding investor.
“We continue to invest in research approaches that support the development of innovative cell therapies for people living with cancer,” said Alessandro Riva, MD, Gilead’s Executive Vice President, Oncology Therapeutics & Head, Cell Therapy. “We are excited to work with Gadeta on its gamma delta TCR technology. This research collaboration adds an additional new platform to our current capabilities in research and cell manufacturing, and deepens our commitment to develop novel approaches to treat solid tumors.”
“Our mission is to develop novel gamma delta TCR cell therapies that have the potential to benefit patients with cancer,” said Shelley Margetson, Gadeta’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are excited to gain the support of a leader in the cell therapy field, which has seen the potential of our platform and products to redefine cancer therapy.”
Gadeta has developed a technology platform based on combinatorial T cell receptor exchange (CTE) to create optimized gamma delta T cell receptors (TCRs) with an enhanced anti-cancer reactivity. The platform is based on research from Prof. Jürgen Kuball from University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) and Chief Scientific Officer at Gadeta. Gadeta’s investigational cell-based anti-cancer products called T Cells Engineered To Express A Defined Gamma Delta TCR (TEGs) have therapeutic potential for combating and eradicating both hematological and solid tumors. This approach utilizes high-affinity gamma delta TCRs expressed on alpha beta T cells with enhanced proliferation capacity. For more information: www.gadeta.nl.
Kite, a Gilead Company, is a biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California. Kite is engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies. The company is focused on chimeric antigen receptor and T cell receptor engineered cell therapies. For more information on Kite, please visit www.kitepharma.com.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California. For more information on Gilead Sciences, please visit the company’s website at www.gilead.com.
Gilead and Kite Forward-Looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements, within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the risk that Gilead and Kite may not realize the potential benefits of this collaboration with Gadeta or other investments in cell therapies. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements. These and other risks are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead and Kite, and Gilead and Kite assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.