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Kite and Epic Bio Announce Collaboration to Develop New Therapies for Cancer

- Kite will gain access to Epic Bio’s gene regulation platform to potentially develop next-generation cancer cell therapies -

Kite, a Gilead Company (Nasdaq: GILD) and Epicrispr Biotechnologies (“Epic Bio”), today announced the companies have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement using Epic Bio’s proprietary gene regulation platform to develop next-generation cancer cell therapies. The agreement will allow Kite to leverage the licensed technology to modulate certain genes to potentially enhance CAR T-cell functionality.

“Cell-based cancer immunotherapies have reshaped modern cancer care, but we have still only scratched the surface of their potential benefit for patients. At Kite, we are committed to developing next generation CAR T-cell therapies with the goal of reaching more patients with cancer who could benefit,” said David Barrett, Vice President of Cell Biology and Translational Medicine at Kite. “We look forward to collaborating with Epic Bio with the goal of further advancing today’s cell therapies and potentially expanding their reach and impact on patients.”

“We are proud to partner with Kite to extend the potential application of Epic Bio’s platform for cancer treatment. Epic Bio’s approach is not only promising for in vivo medicines, but may also enable next-generation cell therapies to reach a wide range of patient populations,” said Amber Salzman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Epic Bio. “We look forward to applying our expertise in gene modulation to help advance CAR T-cell therapies.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Epic Bio will develop constructs for Kite-selected targets for use in CAR T-cell therapies directed to blood cancers. Kite will make an upfront payment to Epic Bio and Epic Bio will be eligible to receive performance-based development, regulatory and sales milestone payments. Epic Bio is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on any approved products that result from the collaboration.

The transaction with Epic Bio is expected to have a de minimis financial impact on Gilead’s 2023 GAAP and non-GAAP EPS.

About Epic Bio

Epic Bio is a leading epigenetic editing company, leveraging the power of CRISPR without cutting DNA. The company’s proprietary Gene Expression Modulation System (GEMS) includes ultra-compact CRISPR components, enabling in vivo delivery via a single AAV vector. Epic’s lead program, EPI-321, is in IND-enabling studies for treatment of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD); additional programs seek to address alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AD), heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH), and other indications. The company is financially backed by Horizons Ventures and other leading investors. Visit for more information or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Kite

Kite, a Gilead Company, is a global biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California, focused on cell therapy to treat and potentially cure cancer. As the global cell therapy leader, Kite has treated more patients with CAR T-cell therapy than any other company. Kite has the largest in-house cell therapy manufacturing network in the world, spanning process development, vector manufacturing, clinical trial production and commercial product manufacturing.

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. Gilead acquired Kite in 2017.

Gilead Forward-looking Statements

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 the risk that Gilead and Kite may not realize the anticipated benefits of the collaboration with Epic Bio; difficulties or unanticipated expenses in connection with the collaboration, including with respect to the development of next-generation cancer cell therapies using Epic Bio’s proprietary gene regulation platform, and the potential effect of any of the foregoing on Gilead and Kite’s earnings; the ability of the parties to initiate, progress and complete clinical trials in the anticipated timelines or at all, and the possibility of unfavorable results from ongoing and additional clinical trials, including those involving any programs pursuant to the collaboration; the possibility that the parties may make a strategic decision to terminate this collaboration at any time; 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, 2023, 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 Gilead and Kite, and Gilead and Kite 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.

For more information on Kite, please visit the company’s website at Follow Kite on social media on X (@KitePharma) and LinkedIn.


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