Gilead Company Kite has signed an agreement to acquire clinical-stage biotech company Tmunity Therapeutics, which is focused on next-generation CAR T-therapies and technologies, for an undisclosed sum.
Kite will purchase all outstanding shares of Tmunity other than those the company already owns.
The acquisition complements the existing in-house cell therapy research capabilities of Kite with the addition of more platform capabilities, pipeline assets, and a strategic research and licensing agreement with the University of Pennsylvania (Penn).
It will provide pre-clinical and clinical programmes to Kite, along with an ‘armored’ CAR T technology platform.
The Kite acquisition excludes Tmunity’s prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) and prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) assets. They will be spun-out by Tmunity.
As part of the acquisition, Kite will be responsible for continuing the research and development collaboration between Tmunity and Penn, which is also known as the Amended Research License Agreement (ARLA).
The ARLA will be extended until 2026 with an option for further extension, on closing.
Kite CEO Christi Shaw 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.”
After closing of the transaction, which is expected to take place in the first quarter of next year, Tmunity’s employees will join Kite.
Closing is subject to other customary conditions and expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.