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Kite Pharma and Alpine Immune Sciences Announce Research Collaboration and License Agreement to Enhance Immune Response in the Tumor Microenvironment

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and SEATTLE, Oct. 27, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite) (KITE) today announced that it has entered into a worldwide research and license agreement with Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (AIS), a privately-held biotechnology company, to discover and develop protein-based immunotherapies targeting the immune synapse to treat cancer. AIS will grant Kite an exclusive license to two programs from its transmembrane immunomodulatory protein (TIP(TM)) technology, which Kite plans to further engineer into chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) product candidates. This collaboration will accelerate Kite's efforts to establish the next generation of engineered T cell therapies specifically designed to overcome the inhibitory mechanisms present in the tumor microenvironment.

"The field of immuno-oncology has the potential to significantly improve the outcome of patients with cancer," said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kite. "We believe the ability of AIS' TIP(TM) technology to modulate the immune synapse can be incorporated into engineered T cell therapies to advance CAR and TCR product candidates into multiple tumor types. This collaboration is another example of Kite's continuing commitment to advancing our pipeline through transformative technologies grounded in innovative science."

Under the terms of the collaboration, Kite will make an upfront payment to AIS of $5 million and additional payments to support AIS' research. AIS will be eligible to receive milestone payments based upon the successful achievement of pre-specified research, clinical, and regulatory milestones totaling $530 million plus low single-digit royalty payments on product sales. Kite will receive an exclusive, worldwide license to research...