Kite partners with HiFiBiO Therapeutics for TCR-based cancer therapies

Kite, a Gilead Company and HiFiBiO Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery of therapeutic antibodies through single B cell screening and analysis, announced the companies have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement to develop technology supporting the discovery of neoantigen-reactive T cell receptors (TCRs) for the potential treatment of various cancers, including solid tumors.

Kite and HiFiBiO intend to adapt HiFiBiO’s proprietary single cell technology platform to create a high throughput approach that will potentially allow for the in-depth screening of TCR repertoires from patient samples to identify shared antigen and neoantigen TCRs for use in adoptive cellular therapies. Neoantigens arise from tumor-specific mutations that are unique to each patient’s cancer, offering the potential for more targeted antitumor activity.

Under the terms of the agreement, HiFiBiO will receive a $10 million upfront payment and will be eligible for additional payments based on the achievement of certain research milestones. Kite will have an exclusive option to license HiFiBiO’s platform to screen T cell repertoires and to identify TCRs for use in TCR engineered T cell therapies with a corresponding payment to HiFiBiO.

“Neoantigen-based cell therapy is a very exciting, yet complex, area of research that has the potential to transform the way we treat many solid tumors,” said Alessandro Riva, MD, Gilead’s Executive Vice President, Oncology Therapeutics & Head, Cell Therapy. “We are excited about this collaboration with HiFiBiO, which will build upon our existing capabilities focused on discovering cell therapies which target patient-specific tumor neoantigens.”

“Kite is a recognized leader in the cell therapy field,” said Liang Schweizer, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, HiFiBiO Therapeutics. “We are proud that our proprietary single cell technology platform, which is utilized to support the rapid progression of our novel antibody therapeutics pipeline, will now also be implemented by Kite for the development of novel cell therapies targeting neoantigens.”

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