$KITE Analyst Blog

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Kite Pharma Narrows Q1 Loss, Misses Estimates; Gives View – Analyst Blog

First-quarter revenues came in at $2.9 million. Revenues entirely consisted of the amortization of deferred collaboration revenues related to the $60 million upfront payment received under the collaboration agreement with Amgen AMGN in the first quarter of 2015. Kite Pharma did not generate any revenue in the year-ago quarter.

Revenues were below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $60 million.

Quarter in Detail

The company’s research and development expenses were $9.3 million in the reported quarter. Meanwhile, the company’s general and administrative expenses were $9.2 million.

During the quarter, Kite Pharma announced an agreement with Amgen for the development and commercialization of chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) T cell immunotherapies. The agreement focuses on Kite Pharma’s engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT) platform and Amgen’s cancer targets. Under the deal, Kite Pharma is entitled to receive additional funds in the form of milestone, licensing and royalty payments.

Kite Pharma also acquired T-Cell Factory (TCF), a privately held Dutch biotech company in the reported quarter. With this acquisition, Kite Pharma established its presence in the EU and strengthened its T cell receptors (TCR) product platform. Kite Pharma intends to utilize TCF’s proprietary TCR-GENErator platform to move TCR-based product candidates into the clinic as early as 2017.

Currently, Kite Pharma is enrolling patients in a phase I/II study on its lead candidate, KTE-C19, for the treatment of patients with refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) including primary mediastinal B cell lymphoma and transformed follicular lymphoma subtypes. The company expects to treat the first patient with KTE-C19 in the first half of 2015.

We note that KTE-C19 enjoys orphan drug status for DLBCL in both the U.S. and EU.

Additionally, the company intends to begin phase II studies on KTE-C19 for indications like relapsed/refractory mantle cell lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2015.

2015 Guidance

Kite Pharma expects cash burn of $100–$125 million in 2015 including both operating expenses and capital expenditures but excluding the impact of business development and other ongoing activities.

With no approved product in Kite Pharma’s portfolio at the moment, we expect investor focus to remain on pipeline updates from the company.

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