Kite, a Gilead Company announced it has leased a new facility in the Netherlands to engineer cell therapies in Europe. The 117,000 square-foot site in Hoofddorp (SEGRO Park Amsterdam Airport) will enable Kite to efficiently manufacture and deliver its cell therapies to people living with cancer in Europe and will provide more than 300 new jobs when fully operational in 2020.
The facility will engineer and produce innovative cell therapies, including axicabtagene ciloleucel, a Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell (CAR T) therapy that is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency and which is approved in the United States as Yescarta.
“We are pleased to be leading a new frontier of cancer innovation that is bringing hope for people living with cancer,” commented John F. Milligan, PhD, Gilead’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “This new European manufacturing facility will enable personalized cell therapies to be manufactured in closer geographic proximity to the patients who will receive them, potentially shortening the turnaround time for people who urgently need care.”
In addition to the Netherlands facility, Kite has recently purchased a new building in Santa Monica from Astellas Pharma Inc. that will be used for cell therapy research, development and the expansion of clinical manufacturing capabilities, and has leased a 26,000 square-foot facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The Maryland site will support the work of a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop adoptive cell therapies targeting patient-specific tumor neoantigens. Neoantigens are mutations found on the surface of cancer cells that are unique to each person and tumor, offering the potential for more targeted antitumor activity.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of advancing cell therapy, which we believe has the potential to transform cancer treatment,” said Alessandro Riva, MD, Gilead’s Executive Vice President, Oncology Therapeutics & Head, Cell Therapy. “The addition of these three new facilities and the expanded CRADA with our research collaborators at the NCI will help us bring cell therapies to more people with cancer around the world.”