Biocartis and Kite Sign Agreement for Development of Assays supporting Kite’s Therapies
Mechelen, Belgium, 1 June 2019 – Biocartis Group NV (the ‘Company’ or ‘Biocartis’), an innovative molecular diagnostics company (Euronext Brussels: BCART), today announced that it has entered into a Master Development and Commercialization Agreement with Kite, a Gilead Company (a pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative cancer cell therapies). The agreement is aimed at the development of molecular-based assays on Biocartis’ molecular diagnostics Idylla™ platform that are supportive to Kite’s therapies. Kite is a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) that, as part of its commitment to patients and their physicians, is exploring innovative technologies that one day may support their care.
Over the past years, immunotherapies — a form of cancer therapy where the power of a patient’s immune system is harnessed to attack tumors — emerged as an important new pillar in cancer treatment. Cell therapies (such as CAR-T therapy or TCR therapy) are a specific form of immunotherapy where a patient’s own immune cells (i.e. T-cells) are genetically engineered to reprogram these T-cells to specifically attack tumor cells. The speed and ease-of-use of the Idylla™ platform could enable regular and rapid monitoring of patients under such cancer cell therapies in a near patient setting, which is expected to help optimize patient management.
The collaboration with Kite is Biocartis’ second assay development partnership in the immunotherapy domain, a fast growing market and one of the key strategic focus areas of the Idylla™ assay menu. Cell and checkpoint blockade therapies are expected to cover a wide range of complementary indications in solid and hematological tumors, and may be used depending on the tumor’s immune activity status.
Herman Verrelst, Chief Executive Officer of Biocartis, commented: “We are very pleased to expand our initiatives in the field of immune-oncology through this assay development project with Kite. Being one of the leaders in the field of anti-cancer cell therapies, they have in-depth knowledge about the current and future diagnostic needs of that therapeutic segment. The collective expertise gained through this partnership further supports one of our long-term strategic goals, aimed at building a menu of high quality and rapid molecular immunotherapy tests on Idylla™.”
Financial details on the agreement with Kite are not disclosed.
 In CAR-T therapies, T-cells are genetically engineered to express a so-called ‘CAR’ or chimeric antigen receptor. These chimeric antigen receptors are genetically engineered proteins that give T-cells the mechanism to bind to a particular protein present on the surface of a cancer cell. The binding proteins (receptors) are termed "chimeric" because they combine the natural T-cell functions of the receptor with the new antigen-recognizing function.
 In TCR therapies, the T-cell receptor of T-cells is genetically engineered such that the T-cells can recognize a particular protein on the cell surface of a cancer cell or inside a cancer cell, allowing them a broader range of potential targets compared to CAR-T cells that are limited to recognizing cell surface antigens.
 Such as Opdivo® from BMS.
Head of Corporate Communications & Investor Relations Biocartis
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Biocartis (Euronext Brussels: BCART) is an innovative molecular diagnostics (MDx) company providing next generation diagnostic solutions aimed at improving clinical practice for the benefit of patients, clinicians, payers and industry. Biocartis' proprietary MDx Idylla™ platform is a fully automated sample-to-result, real-time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) system that offers accurate, highly reliable molecular information from virtually any biological sample in virtually any setting. Biocartis is developing and marketing a continuously expanding test menu addressing key unmet clinical needs in oncology. This area represents the fastest growing segment of the MDx market worldwide. Today, Biocartis offers tests supporting melanoma, colorectal and lung cancer. More information: www.biocartis.com
Kite, a Gilead Company, is a biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California. Kite is engaged in the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies. The company is focused on chimeric antigen receptor and T cell receptor engineered cell therapies. For more information on Kite, please visit www.kitepharma.com.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative therapeutics in areas of unmet medical need. The company’s mission is to advance the care of patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
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