Gilead company Kite has signed a research collaboration and licence agreement with Epicrispr Biotechnologies (Epic Bio) for the development of new cancer cell therapies leveraging the latter’s gene regulation platform.

Kite will utilise the licensed technology for modulating genes to improve the functionality of CAR T-cells.

Kite cell biology and translational medicine vice-president David Barrett stated: “Cell-based cancer immunotherapies have reshaped modern cancer care, but we have still only scratched the surface of their potential benefit for patients.

“At Kite, we are committed to developing next-generation CAR T-cell therapies with the goal of reaching more patients with cancer who could benefit.”

Epic Bio will focus on developing constructs for targets selected by Kite to be used in CAR T-cell therapies directed to blood cancers.

The company will receive an upfront payment from Kite and is also eligible for development, regulatory and sales milestone payments based on performance.

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Epic Bio will also obtain tiered royalties on any approved products that result from the partnership.

Epic Bio CEO Amber Salzman stated: “We are proud to partner with Kite to extend the potential application of Epic Bio’s platform for cancer treatment.

“Epic Bio’s approach is not only promising for in vivo medicines, but may also enable next-generation cell therapies to reach a wide range of patient populations.”

Cell & Gene Therapy coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology is supported by Cytiva.

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