California-based Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite) has entered into a worldwide research and license agreement with Washington-based Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc. (AIS), a privately‐held biotechnology company, to discover and develop protein‐based immunotherapies targeting the immune synapse to treat cancer, as detailed in the press release below issued by the companies. AIS will grant Kite an exclusive license to two programs from its transmembrane immunomodulatory protein (TIP™) technology, which Kite plans to further engineer into chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) product candidates. Under the terms of the collaboration, Kite will make an upfront payment to AIS of $5 million and additional payments to support AIS’ research. AIS will be eligible to receive milestone payments based upon the successful achievement of pre‐specified research, clinical, and regulatory milestones totaling $530 million plus low single digit royalty payments on product sales.
Latham & Watkins LLP counsel Geoff Kuziemko, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley office, represented Alpine Immune Sciences in the licensing agreement. Silicon Valley partners Patrick Pohlen and Brian Cuneo advise AIS on corporate matters.