Kite Pharma Expands in Dutch Life Sciences and Health Industry
Biopharmaceutical company receives approval for CAR T cell therapy manufacturing and announces plans to expand quickly at facility near Amsterdam
US-based Kite Pharma, a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, is expanding in the Dutch life sciences and health ecosystem. The biopharmaceutical company received approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for end-to-end manufacturing of CAR T cell therapies at its facility in Hoofddorp near Amsterdam. Kite also announced plans to invest €130 million to rapidly expand its workforce at the Hoofddorp facility, established in 2018.
“We are extremely proud that from now on it is possible to produce cell therapies in the Netherlands for patients all over Europe,” said Kite CEO Christi Shaw.
Cutting-Edge Cell Therapy Manufacturing in Europe
With the approval from EMA to implement a variation of Kite’s cell therapy, the first CAR T cell therapy for certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Kite’s manufacturing facility is now fully operational to manufacture individualized cell therapies for European cancer patients. The facility has the capacity to produce cell therapy treatments for up to 4,000 patients per year.
“With the enhanced technology and processes at our new facility we are pleased to be leading the next chapter in the manufacture and delivery of CAR T therapy,” said Charles Calderaro, Kite’s Global Head of Technical Operations. “Our new European manufacturing facility is dedicated to cutting-edge cell engineering, enabling patients to receive their potentially life-saving treatment more quickly.”
“The prognosis for patients with refractory large B-cell lymphoma is poor, with a median survival of approximately six months with the prior standard of care,” said Marie José Kersten, MD, PhD, Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. “Timely access to cell therapy is critical, and the ability to manufacture CAR T cell therapies in Europe is welcomed by the clinical community.”
Central Location in the Netherlands to Reach Patients
Furthermore, the central location of Kite’s cell therapy manufacturing facility next to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, an award-winning international transport hub, will reduce the delivery time to and from treatment centers across Europe.
“Kite is focused foremost on the needs of patients living with cancer and we are proud to now manufacture cell therapy directly in Europe,” explained Shaw. “This facility will benefit both patients and healthcare professionals, allowing Yescarta to reach European treatment centers more quickly and reducing the time it takes to reach patients by almost a week.”
Investing in the Dutch Life Sciences and Health Ecosystem
In addition to the EMA approval, Kite announced plans to quickly expand the employment at its state-of-the-art facility in Hoofddorp. The biopharma company will invest €130 million in the highly skilled Dutch workforce to add 130 jobs for a total of 530 employees at the facility. With the world-leading Dutch life sciences and health ecosystem as the base of its manufacturing operations, Kite looks to supply the whole of Europe from the Netherlands from 2020 onwards.
Source: Kite Pharma15 June 2020