Kite Pharma, Inc.
Nov 17, 2014

Kite Pharma Receives Positive Opinion for Orphan Drug Designation in the European Union for KTE-C19, Kite's Lead Investigational Cancer Immunotherapy

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kite Pharma, Inc., (Nasdaq:KITE), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) has adopted a positive opinion recommending KTE-C19 for designation as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). KTE-C19 is an anti-CD19 CAR T cell therapy that involves genetically modifying a patient's T cells to express a CAR that is designed to target CD19, a protein expressed on the cell surface of B cell lymphomas and leukemias.

The COMP, a committee of the EMA, adopts an opinion on the granting of orphan drug designation, after which the opinion is submitted to the European Commission for endorsement of the opinion. Orphan drug designation by the European Commission provides regulatory and financial incentives for companies to develop and market therapies that treat a life-threatening or chronically debilitating condition affecting no more than five in 10,000 persons in the European Union (EU), and where no satisfactory treatment is available. In addition to a 10-year period of marketing exclusivity in the EU after product approval, orphan drug designation provides incentives for companies seeking protocol assistance from the EMA during the product development phase, and direct access to the centralized authorization procedure.

DLBCL is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma for which the treatment options include chemotherapy, anti-CD20 antibodies, and, in selected patients, autologous transplant. Although most patients with DLBCL can be cured by either chemotherapy or transplant, a significant proportion of patients have disease that is resistant to chemotherapy or that relapses after transplant. For these patients with refractory DLBCL, there is a substantial unmet need for more effective therapies.

About Kite Pharma, Inc.

Kite Pharma, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapy products, with a primary focus on eACT™ designed to restore the immune system's ability to recognize and eradicate tumors. In partnership with the NCI Surgery Branch through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Kite is advancing a pipeline of proprietary eACT™ product candidates, both CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) and TCR (T cell receptor) products, directed to a wide range of cancer indications. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite Pharma, please visit www.kitepharma.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We may, in some cases, use terms such as "predicts," "believes," "potential," "proposed," "continue," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "may," "could," "might," "will," "should" or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: the success and timing of the ongoing and anticipated clinical trials for our current product candidates, including statements regarding the timing of initiation of our clinical trial of KTE-C19; the ability and willingness of the NCI to continue research and development activities relating to eACT™ pursuant to the CRADA; our expectations regarding the clinical effectiveness and safety of our product candidates and results of the NCI's clinical trials; our ability to manufacture our product candidates; the timing of and our ability to obtain and maintain U.S. Food and Drug Administration or other regulatory authority approval of, or other action with respect to, our product candidates and advancing a clinical trial of KTE-C19; and our ability to protect our proprietary technology and enforce our intellectual property rights. Various factors may cause differences between Kite's expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail in Kite's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation in its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

CONTACT: Kite Contacts:

         Cynthia M. Butitta

         Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer

         310-824-9999



         For Media: Justin Jackson

         For Investor Inquiries: Kimberly Minarovich

         Burns McClellan

         (212) 213-0006

         jjackson@burnsmc.com

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Source: Kite Pharma, Inc.

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