BioNTech takes over U.S. Kite cell therapy manufacturing site

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

August 4, 2021 -- BioNTech has completed the acquisition of a solid tumor neoantigen T-cell receptor (TCR) R&D platform and clinical manufacturing facility from Kite, a Gilead company, in Gaithersburg, MD.

The acquisition, which follows BioNTech's 2020 acquisition of Neon Therapeutics, expands the company's cell therapy capabilities and manufacturing footprint in North America, according to the firm. The facility will support the development of BioNTech's expanding pipeline of novel cell therapies, including cancer product candidates based on its CAR T-cell amplifying mRNA vaccine (CARVac) and NEOSTIM platforms, as well as the newly acquired individualized neoantigen TCR program.

As part of the deal, all Kite employees at the Gaithersburg facility were offered employment with BioNTech. Under the terms of the agreement, Kite will receive a one-time upfront payment from BioNTech to purchase Kite's individualized solid tumor neoantigen TCR discovery platform and the Gaithersburg R&D and clinical manufacturing facility.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The plant will be fully integrated into BioNTech's U.S. operations.

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