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Kite announces acquisition of Tmunity Therapeutics in latest agreement

The acquisition will include Tmunity’s ‘armoured’ CAR T technology platform


Kite, a Gilead Company, has agreed to buy Tmunity Therapeutics (Tmunity), a private, clinical-stage biotech focused on cell therapy.

The buy-out will further complement Kite’s established in-house cell therapy research capabilities by adding additional pipeline assets, platform capabilities, bolstered by a strategic research and licensing agreement with the University of Pennsylvania.

Tmunity has focused on next-generation CAR T-therapies and technologies, and by joining Kite, will offer its pre-clinical and clinical programmes, including an ‘armoured’ CAR T technology platform. This has the potential to be applied to a variety of CAR Ts to enhance anti-tumour activity, in addition to rapid manufacturing processes.

Not included in the transaction are Tmunity’s prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) and prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) assets, which will be spun-out by Tmunity as part of the agreement.

According to the agreed terms, Kite will oversee continuing the R&D collaboration between Tmunity and University of Pennsylvania – also referred to as the Amended Research License Agreement (ARLA) – including research funding to the university along with options and licences to certain cell engineering and manufacturing technologies invented and developed in specific University of Pennsylvania laboratories.

Once the agreement is finalised, the ARLA will be extended until 2026 with an option to extend further.

Tmunity was founded in 2015 by Dr Carl June, who is also the Richard W Vague Professor of Immunotherapy in Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and director of Penn’s Center for Cellular Immunotherapies. June founded the company with a group of early innovators in the cell therapy field, including the University of Pennsylvania’s Bruce Levine, James Riley and Anne Chew.

The company was formed to rapidly advance early-stage cell therapy research and innovation done in academia into the clinic, to produce new treatments for patients with unmet needs. As part of Kite’s acquisition, the Tmunity founders will become senior scientific advisors for Kite.

Christi Shaw, chief executive officer of Kite, said: “The Kite team is thrilled to be joining forces with the researchers at Tmunity who are rapidly advancing cell therapy research from the labs into the clinic through their unique partnership with the University of Pennsylvania.

“Together, we bring a deep understanding of cell therapy as an effective platform, and combined with Kite’s industry-leading global scale, we collectively have a singular focus: to use cell therapy to develop potential cures, and to get them to patients as quickly as possible.”

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023, and after closing, Tmunity’s employees will join Kite. The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

21st December 2022

From: Research, Sales



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