Gilead's Kite links with Sangamo in gene therapy development

Gilead’s Kite is linking with Sangamo Therapeutics in a collaboration that aims to develop next-generation engineered cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. Kite will use Sangamo’s ZFN technology gene therapies for autologous and allogeneic use in treating different cancers.

Under the terms of the deal, Sangamo will bank an upfront payment of $150 million and also stands to receive up to $3.01 billion in potential payments, aggregated across 10 or more products using its technology. The company is also in line for tiered royalties on sales of potential future products stemming from the alliance. Kite will take on all development, manufacturing and commercialization of products, and will also shoulder agreed upon expenses incurred by Sangamo.

“This collaboration between Kite and Sangamo brings together two leading platforms to develop best-in-class cell therapies in oncology,” said Sandy Macrae, Sangamo’s president and chief executive.

“The emergence of gene editing as a tool to edit immune cells holds promise in the development of therapies with potentially improved safety, efficacy and efficiency,” said John Milligan, Gilead’s president and chief executive. “We believe Sangamo’s zinc finger nucleases provide the optimal gene editing platform, and we look forward to working with Sangamo to accelerate our efforts to develop next-generation autologous cell therapies, as well as allogeneic treatments that can be accessed more conveniently in the hospital setting for people living with cancer.”

Gilead bought Kite in August last year in a deal worth $11.9 billion, securing itself access to the latter’s experimental CAR-T therapy axicabtagene ciloleucel and wider cancer pipeline.