SANTA MONICA, Calif. & NEWARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), and Teneobio, Inc. announced the companies have entered into a license and collaboration agreement through which Kite will receive exclusive rights to certain antibodies directed to B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA). The fully human variable heavy chain of one such antibody is currently undergoing clinical evaluation in a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) format for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma in a Phase 1 clinical trial at the National Cancer Institute. Kite and Teneobio will also collaborate on the discovery of antibodies directed to four additional targets, using Teneobio’s proprietary Human Heavy-Chain Antibodies (UniAb®) platform, to be used in CAR T cell therapies for multiple myeloma and other cancers.
CARs traditionally utilize an antigen-recognition domain made up of a single chain variable fragment (scFv). The binding domain derived from Teneobio’s BCMA antibody has key potential benefits, including minimal potential for immunogenicity due to its lack of murine elements, and its small size, which may allow for the creation of dual-targeting CAR T therapies.
“Kite is committed to pursuing novel CAR T therapies that have the potential to be meaningfully differentiated treatment options for people living with multiple myeloma,” said Peter Emtage, PhD, Senior Vice President of Research at Kite. “Based on encouraging early clinical signals and unique attributes of the binding domain from Teneobio, this exciting collaboration will be central to our strategy of developing next-generation CAR T therapies with the potential to overcome the tumor microenvironment.”
“We are pleased that Kite, a leader in cell therapy, has recognized the potential of Teneobio’s UniAb® platform to enable differentiated CAR T cell therapies in treating multiple myeloma and other cancers,” said Roland Buelow, PhD, CEO of Teneobio. “We look forward to working with Kite to advance our uniquely differentiated cancer-targeting UniAbs® on behalf of patients in need of novel therapies.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Teneobio will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive additional payments based on achievement of certain clinical and regulatory milestones, as well as royalties on future potential sales.
The Anti-BCMA CAR T cell therapy using Teneobio’s UniAb® platform is investigational and not yet approved by any regulatory authority. Its efficacy and safety have not been established.
About Teneobio, Inc.
Teneobio, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a new class of biologics, Human Heavy-Chain Antibodies (UniAb®), for the treatments of cancer, autoimmunity, and infectious diseases. Teneobio’s discovery platform, TeneoSeek, comprises genetically engineered animals (UniRat® and OmniFlic®), next-generation sequencing, bioinformatics and high-throughput vector assembly technologies. TeneoSeek rapidly identifies large numbers of unique binding molecules specific for therapeutic targets of interest. Versatile antibody variable domains (UniDab®) derived from UniAb® can be assembled into multi-specific and multivalent therapeutic proteins, surpassing limitations of conventional antibody therapeutics. Teneobio’s “plug-and-play” T-cell engaging platform includes a diverse set of anti-CD3 antibodies for therapeutics with optimal efficacy and reduced toxicity. The company has received funding from institutional investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sutter Hill Ventures.
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 in-licensing or collaboration with Teneobio or other investments in cell therapy. 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 Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, 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.