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Kite Pharma Shares Show Strength On New Drug Potential

Kite-PharmaEven with a slight decline in after-hours trading, Kite Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: KITE) showed strength in today’s market. By the closing bell, Kite traded up 22.50%, hitting $34.68 per share, just under top value in the 52-week range between $29.00 and $35.39.

The rise in share price  is based on the potential of a new drug called KTE-C19 and setting a Buy rate with a target price of $31.

Kite’s leading drug, KTE-C19, is being developed to treat B cell malignancies. According to top analysts from Stifel Nicolaus, Citigroup, Inc., and Cowen and Company, the drug has the potential to surpass $1 billion in sales worldwide for treating diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

Using Kite’s technology platform, the development of chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapeutics is a unique method of treating cancer.

In early testing for DLBCL, KTE-C19 has produced an 80% objective response rate (ORR) and 60% complete response rate (CR). As such, the drug outperformed standard of care’s current ORR of 43%.

Experts anticipate that just one administration of KTE-C19 is needed, thereby justifying Kite’s price of $200,000.

Ultimately, this will lead to a profit in spite of the high cost of production estimate of $55,000.

Kite Pharma, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development and commercialization of immunotherapy products for cancer patients as a means of harnessing the human body’s own immune system to eradicate cancer cells.

Kite uses engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT) to accomplish this goal.

eACT consists of genetic engineering to T cells, whereby chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) or T cell receptors (TCRs) are expressed. Once modified, T cells have the ability to recognize cancer cells as well as destroy them. Phase 1-2a of clinical trials receive funding from the National Cancer Institute’s Surgery Branch and a Phase 1-2 clinical trial for KTE-C19 is being planned.

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