-- Viral Vector Facility Further Strengthens Vertical Integration of Kite’s Global CAR T-cell Therapy Manufacturing Network, Supports Growing Demand of Company’s Blood Cancer Treatments --
-- Kite is the Only Cell Therapy Company with In-House Viral Vector Manufacturing Capabilities for Both Commercial Products and Clinical Trials --
-- In-house Viral Vector Supply Supports Continued Reliable Delivery of Kite’s CAR T-cell Therapy Products --
Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD), today announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the company's retroviral vector (RVV) manufacturing facility in Oceanside, California, for commercial production. Viral vectors are key components needed to manufacture Kite’s cell therapies to treat certain blood cancers. Kite is the only cell therapy company with in-house commercial and clinical trial viral vector manufacturing capabilities, augmenting its strong external supply partners.
CAR T-cell therapies are one-time treatments individually made starting from a patient’s own white blood cells, called T-cells. The cells are removed through a process similar to donating blood and sent to Kite’s specialized manufacturing facilities where they are modified with a Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR). During this process, a viral vector is used to encode the CAR in the patient’s T-cells so the engineered T-cells can recognize and attack the patient’s cancer cells in certain types of blood cancers. Once an individual therapy is created for a patient, the cells are carefully preserved, packed and sent back to the hospital to be infused back into the patient. Over 10,000 patients have been treated with Kite’s CAR T-cell therapies globally through more than 300 authorized treatment centers around the world, including 117 of the leading cancer hospitals in the U.S.
“The FDA approval of our commercial viral vector manufacturing facility further strengthens our global cell therapy manufacturing network with the addition of an in-house capability to produce a crucial element in the CAR T process, which is especially important as patient demand continues to grow,” said Christi Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of Kite. “This milestone is several years in the making and reflects our continued commitment to, and investment in, bringing the curative intent of cell therapy to patients.”
The Oceanside site is part of Kite’s global commercial manufacturing network that includes facilities in El Segundo, California, Amsterdam, Netherlands, and a recently FDA-approved Maryland site. This forms the largest dedicated in-house cell therapy manufacturing network in the world, spanning process development, vector manufacturing, clinical trial production and commercial product manufacturing. Kite has continued to increase its manufacturing network capacity to meet increasing demand, ensuring scheduling availability to meet the needs of physicians and their patients.
“The cell therapy manufacturing process is complex and requires specific materials, including viral vectors that play a critical role in ‘engineering’ a patient’s own T-cells to recognize and attack their cancer. The certainty of timely and dependable viral vector production supplied by our own facility provides an additional level of control essential for reliably delivering CAR T-cell therapy on a large commercial scale as well as providing supply for clinical trials to develop future treatments,” said Chris McDonald, Global Head of Technical Operations, Kite.
The company continues to invest in its cell therapy workforce, employing approximately 100 employees at the 100,000-square-foot space. The capabilities and operations are fully scalable and will allow Kite to accommodate additional vector manufacturing as cell therapy science advances.
For more information on how cell therapy is manufactured, including the use of viral vectors, please click here.
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 global cell therapy leader, Kite has more approved CAR T indications to help more patients than any other company. For more information on Kite, please visit www.kitepharma.com.
About Gilead Sciences
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.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including Kite’s ability to increase its CAR T-cell therapy manufacturing capacity, timely manufacture and deliver such therapies or produce an amount of supply sufficient to satisfy demand for such therapies; Kite’s ability to initiate, progress or complete clinical trials within currently anticipated timelines or at all; the possibility of unfavorable results from ongoing or additional clinical trials; Kite’s ability to receive regulatory approvals in a timely manner or at all, and the risk that any such approvals may be subject to significant limitations on use; the risk that CAR T-cell therapy will not be broadly accepted by physicians, patients, hospitals, cancer treatment centers, payers and others in the medical community; and any assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These and other risks, uncertainties and other factors are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2022, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Kite and Gilead, and Kite and Gilead assume no obligation and disclaim any intent to update any such forward-looking statements.
Kite, the Kite logo, and GILEAD are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc. or its related companies.