Biocartis NV (the ‘Company‘ or ‘Biocartis‘), an innovative molecular diagnostics company (Euronext Brussels: BCART), announced that it has entered into a Master Development and Commercialization Agreement with Kite, a Gilead Company (a pharmaceutical company engaged in the development of innovative cancer cell therapies).
The agreement is aimed at the development of molecular-based assays on Biocartis’ molecular diagnostics Idylla(TM) platform that are supportive to Kite’s therapies. Kite is a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences (GILD) that, as part of its commitment to patients and their physicians, is exploring innovative technologies that may support their care.
Over the past years, immunotherapies – a form of cancer therapy where the power of a patient’s immune system is harnessed to attack tumors – emerged as an important new pillar in cancer treatment. Cell therapies (such as CAR-T therapy or TCRtherapy) are a specific form of immunotherapy where a patient’s own immune cells (i.e. T-cells) are genetically engineered to reprogram these T-cells to specifically attack tumor cells. The speed and ease-of-use of the Idylla(TM) platform could enable regular and rapid monitoring of patients under such cancer cell therapies in a near patient setting, which is expected to help optimize patient management.
The collaboration with Kite is Biocartis’ second assay development partnership in the immunotherapy domain, a fast growing market and one of the key strategic focus areas of the Idylla(TM) assay menu. Cell and checkpoint blockade therapies are expected to cover a wide range of complementary indications in solid and hematological tumors, and may be used depending on the tumor’s immune activity status.
Herman Verrelst, Chief Executive Officer of Biocartis, commented: “We are very pleased to expand our initiatives in the field of immune-oncology through this assay development project with Kite. Being one in the field of anti-cancer cell therapies, they have in-depth knowledge about the current and future diagnostic needs of that therapeutic segment. The collective expertise gained through this partnership further supports one of our long-term strategic goals, aimed at building a menu of high quality and rapid molecular immunotherapy tests on Idylla(TM).” Financial details on the agreement with Kite are not disclosed.