Therapy Areas: AIDS & HIV
Kite, Refuge Biotechnologies Ink Exclusive License Agreement for Investigational Gene Expression Platform for Blood Cancers
20 October 2022 - - US-based Kite, a Gilead Company (NASDAQ: GILD) has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with synthetic biology company Refuge Biotechnologies, Inc for exclusive rights to utilize Refuge's proprietary gene expression platform to develop potential treatments for blood cancers, the company said.

Refuge's proprietary platform is a synthetic biology system that utilizes an expression modulation strategy to repress or activate transcription of target genes.

Early pre-clinical data suggest a potential for this highly modular platform to regulate target antigen-dependent gene expression as a means to improve upon both the efficacy and safety of first-generation CAR T-cell therapies.

Kite will have an exclusive license to Refuge's intellectual property portfolio for use in blood cancers, as well as a library of synthetic gene expression programs for these indications. Refuge will retain all rights and programs related to solid tumor indications.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kite will be responsible for all costs and activities related to research, development, manufacturing and commercialization. Kite will also make an upfront payment to Refuge and Refuge will be eligible to receive potential performance-based regulatory milestone payments.

Kite, a Gilead company, is a global biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California, with manufacturing operations in North America and Europe. Kite's singular focus is cell therapy to treat and potentially cure cancer.

As the cell therapy leader, Kite has more approved CAR T indications to help more patients than any other company.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people.

The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

Refuge Biotechnologies is a synthetic biology company developing intelligent cell therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy.

By connecting ligand specific receptors to dCas, Refuge enables cells to sense its surroundings and conditionally activate or repress multiple genes when they encounter specific external antigens.

In particular, with receptor-dCas, immune cells can now be engineered to conditionally turn off or on certain immune-inhibitory or immune-stimulatory genes on-demand, to generate more potent CAR-T immune cells when it senses the presence of a tumor cell.