Kite Pharma Inc., a Los Angeles, CA-based clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing innovative targeted immunotherapies for cancer, closed a $20m in Series A funding.
In addition to these new funds, Kite converted $15m in notes into shares of Series A Preferred Stock.
Backers included new investor Alta Partners, and existing major investors Arie Belldegrun, M.D. (Kite’s Founder and Executive Chairman), David Bonderman, Pontifax Ltd., Commercial Street Capital, and Michael Milken. In conjunction with the financing, Farah Champsi, Managing Director of Alta Partners, and Ran Nussbaum, Managing Partner of Pontifax, joined Kite’s Board of Directors.
Led by Aya Jakobovits , Ph.D., President and CEO, Kite Pharma is engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapeutic products with a focus on engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT), designed to restore a patient’s immune system by recognizing and eradicating tumors.
In partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surgery Branch under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), the company is advancing a pipeline of proprietary eACT product candidates directed at a wide range of cancer indications.
Kite intends to use the capital for advancement of clinical and manufacturing activities of eACT products directed to hematological and solid tumor indications.