Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) has announced that it would be collaborating with Genentech, in order to evaluate the safety and efficacy of two of its novel therapies. The target population for the tests would be patients suffering from non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. The therapies in question, KTE-C19 and atezolizumab, would be tested in combination with each other.

KTE-C19 is currently classified as an investigational immunotherapy, which targets the antigen, CD19. This is done through a genetic modification of the patient’s T-cells, so they express a CAR for the purpose. Atezolizumab, on the other hand, is an antibody, which binds itself to PD-L1 protein. Since the protein can infiltrate the tumors, combining it with KTE-C19 could ensure that the drug has a prolonged and enhanced effect on the tumor.

Kite and Genentech would be initiating the phase-1b/2 study, during the current year. The study would use the same dosage levels of KTE-C19, as being currently tested under Kite’s Zuma-1 study. The study would be conducted at multiple locations and financed by Kite. The results of the study are expected to provide the company with further combination development options.

Furthermore, KITE has also announced that it would be presenting at the American Association for Cancer Research, annual meeting, to be held in Louisiana. A number of oral and poster presentations are scheduled, by the company. The oral presentations would mostly concern KTE-C19 and a TCR product candidate, MAGE-A3. The latter is currently undergoing an R&D study, with the National Cancer Institute.

The CEO of KITE, Arie Belldegrun, stated that his company is amongst the pioneers of engineered T-cell therapy, while Genentech was an industry leader in developing novel cancer therapies. He further revealed that KTE-C19 is undergoing 4-studies, with indications of a potential breakthrough in NHL and B-cell malignancies. The CEO also hoped that the combination of the two aforementioned drugs would lead to possible cures for other indications as well.

Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) reported a trade volume of 1.3 million and a rise of 1.07% in its share value, to reach a close at $44.6.