Kite Pharma

Kite Pharma ($KITE)
Based: Santa Monica, CA
IPO price: $17
Close Sept. 30: $28.50
Change: Up 68%
Raised: $128 million

Scoop: Kite Pharma, a contender in the burgeoning space of cancer immunotherapies, managed to price well above its projected range on the way to one of the year's biggest IPOs, riding a wave of investor confidence in its approach to oncology R&D. The company's lead program uses chimeric antigen receptors to reprogram a patient's T cells and transform them into cancer-fighting agents, called CAR-T immunotherapies. The treatment, KTE-C19, targets CD19-positive B cell cancers, including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), an aggressive subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. With its new cash, Kite plans to kick off a Phase I/II study on the drug in 2015 and use the results to apply for an accelerated FDA approval that would clear 'C19 for use as a third-line treatment for patients with DLBCL. From there, the biotech plans to work backward, gradually proving the treatment's worth as a second- and first-line therapy and eventually branching out into other lymphomas and leukemias.

For more:
Kite Pharma spikes on its second take of CAR-T cancer study
Kite Pharma rides the CAR-T current to a $128M IPO
IPO-hopeful Kite Pharma inks an NIH licensing deal on hot TCR tech
Pioneering CAR-T biotech upstart plans to leapfrog into a $115M IPO

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