Kite Pharma and GE Global Research Announce Strategic Collaboration to Automate Manufacturing of Engineered T Cell Therapies

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and NISKAYUNA, N.Y., Dec. 3, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kite Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:KITE), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, and GE Global Research (NYSE:GE), the centralized research and development hub for GE, today announced that they have formed a strategic research collaboration to develop a next-generation, functionally integrated and automated manufacturing system for engineered T cell therapy.

Kite and GE Global Research aim to change the paradigm of engineered T cell therapy manufacturing by accelerating the development of automation technologies that have the potential to reduce cost, improve speed, and minimize variability. As a result, automated manufacturing technologies could enable more widespread availability of engineered T cell therapies.

This collaboration brings together complementary capabilities from each company, including Kite's scientific leadership in T cell biology and manufacturing and GE Global Research's deep expertise in the design and development of innovative manufacturing applications for the biopharmaceutical industry.

"We are excited to announce a strategic collaboration with GE Global Research, a world leader in medical technologies and a company that shares our commitment to the future of T cell-based immunotherapy," said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kite. "GE Global Research is the ideal partner to realize our vision to advance engineered T cell manufacturing to a functionally integrated and fully automated process. This unique partnership further positions us to deliver on the promise of T cell-based cancer immunotherapy for patients worldwide."

Michael Idelchik, Vice President for Advanced Technologies at GE Global Research, said, "Cell-based immunotherapy has tremendous potential and could fundamentally change the way various diseases are treated. Together with Kite, a scientific pioneer in the field, we are focused on advancing innovation, delivering end-to-end manufacturing solutions, and building a robust ecosystem that supports widespread adoption of these important therapies and the industry as a whole."

Under the terms of the agreement, Kite and GE Global Research will each contribute resources and relevant expertise to the partnership. Further terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

About Kite Pharma, Inc.

Kite Pharma, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapy products, with a primary focus on engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) designed to restore the immune system's ability to recognize and eradicate tumors. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite Pharma, please visit www.kitepharma.com. Sign up to follow @KitePharma on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/kitepharma.

About GE Global Research

GE Global Research is the hub of technology development for all of GE's businesses. Our scientists and engineers redefine what's possible, drive growth for our businesses, and find answers to some of the world's toughest problems. We innovate 24 hours a day, with sites in Niskayuna, New York; San Ramon, California; Detroit, Michigan; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; Munich, Germany; Tirat Carmel, Israel; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Visit GE Global Research on the web at www.geglobalresearch.com. Connect with our technologists at www.geglobalresearch.com/blog and www.twitter.com/geresearch.

Kite Pharma, Inc. Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The press release may, in some cases, use terms such as "predicts," "believes," "potential," "proposed," "continue," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "may," "could," "might," "will," "should" or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: the ability to research and develop a next generation automated manufacturing system for engineered autologous cell therapy, and the ability to obtain regulatory approval, commercialize and scale engineered autologous cell therapy. Various factors may cause differences between Kite's expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail in Kite's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation in its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2015. Any forward-looking statements that is made in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Kite assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

CONTACT: Kite Pharma: Cynthia M. Butitta Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer 310-824-9999 For Media: Justin Jackson For Investor Inquiries: Lisa Burns Burns McClellan 212-213-0006 jjackson@burnsmc.com lburns@burnsmc.com GE Global Research: For Media: Todd Alhart 518-387-7914 Todd.Alhart@ge.com

Source:Kite Pharma, Inc.