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Kite Pharma

Positive Opinion Based on Landmark ZUMA-7 Study in Which 41% of Patients Demonstrated Event-Free Survival at Two Years versus 16% for Standard of Care

Stockley Park, UK – 16 September, 2022 – Kite, a Gilead Company, today announces that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has issued a positive opinion for Yescarta® (axicabtagene ciloleucel) for adult patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and high-grade B-cell lymphoma (HGBL) that relapses within 12 months from completion of, or is refractory to, first-line chemoimmunotherapy. If approved, axicabtagene ciloleucel will be the first Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy approved for patients in Europe who do not respond to first-line treatment. Although 60% of newly diagnosed LBCL patients will respond to their initial treatment, 40% will relapse or will not respond and need 2nd line treatment.

“At Kite, we are committed to bringing the curative potential of cell therapy to the world, and changing the way cancer is treated,” said Christi Shaw, CEO, Kite. “Today’s positive CHMP opinion brings us a step closer to utilizing cell therapy earlier in the treatment journey, potentially transforming the standard of care for the most common and aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.”

The European Commission will review the CHMP opinion, and a final decision on the marketing authorisation is expected in the coming months.

“For people with DLBCL and HGBL who do not respond to first-line treatment or have an early relapse, outcomes are often poor and there are limited curative treatment options for these patients,” said Marie José Kersten, Professor of Hematology at Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Amsterdam. “If approved, axicabtagene ciloleucel may offer a new standard of care for patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL and HGBL. Importantly, in a randomized trial of axicabtagene ciloleucel versus the current standard of care, quality of life also showed greater improvement in the experimental arm”.

The positive opinion for axicabtagene ciloleucel is based on the primary results of the landmark Phase 3 ZUMA-7 study, the largest and longest trial of a CAR T-cell therapy versus standard of care (SOC) in second-line LBCL. Results demonstrated that at a median follow-up of two years, axicabtagene ciloleucel -treated patients had a four-fold greater improvement in the primary endpoint of event-free survival (EFS; hazard ratio 0.40; 95% CI: 0.31-0.51, P<0.001) over the current SOC (8.3 months v 2.0 months). Additionally, axicabtagene ciloleucel demonstrated a 2.5 fold increase in patients who were alive at two years without disease progression or need for additional cancer treatment vs SOC (41% v 16%). Improvements in EFS with axicabtagene ciloleucel were consistent across key patient subgroups, including elderly patients (HR: 0.28 [95% CI: 0.16-0.46]), primary refractory patients (HR: 0.43 [95% CI: 0.32- 0.57]), high-grade B cell lymphoma including double-hit and triple-hit lymphoma patients (HGBL; HR: 0.28 [95% CI: 0.14-0.59]), and double expressor lymphoma patients (HR: 0.42 [95% CI: 0.27-0.67]).

In the ZUMA-7 trial, axicabtagene ciloleucel had a manageable safety profile that was consistent with previous studies. Among the 170 axicabtagene ciloleucel-treated patients evaluable for safety, Grade ≥3 cytokine release syndrome (CRS) and neurologic events were observed in 6% and 21% of patients, respectively. No Grade 5 CRS or neurologic events occurred. In the SOC arm, 83% of patients had high-grade events, mostly cytopenias (low blood counts).

About ZUMA-7

ZUMA-7 is an ongoing, randomised, open-label, global, multicentre (US, Australia, Canada, Europe, Israel) Phase 3 study of 359 patients at 77 centres, evaluating the safety and efficacy of a single-infusion of axicabtagene ciloleucel versus current SOC for second-line therapy (platinum-based salvage combination chemotherapy regimen followed by high-dose chemotherapy and autologous stem cell transplant in those who respond to salvage chemotherapy) in adult patients with relapsed or refractory LBCL within 12 months of first-line therapy. The primary endpoint is event free survival (EFS). Key secondary endpoints include objective response rate (ORR) and overall survival (OS). Additional secondary endpoints include patient reported outcomes (PROs) and safety.

In a separate, secondary analysis of PROs published in Blood, July 2022 patients receiving axicabtagene ciloleucel and eligible for the PROs portion of the study (n=165), showed statistically significant improvements in Quality of Life (QoL) at Day 100 compared with those who received SOC (n=131), using a pre-specified analysis for three PRO-domains (EORTC QLQ-C30 Physical Functioning, EORTC QLQ-C30 Global Health Status/QOL, and EQ-5D-5L visual analog scale [VAS]). There was also a trend toward faster recovery to baseline QoL in the axicabtagene ciloleucel arm versus SOC.

About Axicabtagene Ciloleucel

In August 2018, axicabtagene ciloleucel, a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, received European Marketing Authorisation for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and primary mediastinal large B cell lymphoma (PMBCL), after two or more lines of systemic therapy. In June 2022, axicabtagene ciloleucel was granted European Marketing Authorisation for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma (FL) after three or more lines of systemic therapy.

About Kite

Kite, a Gilead Company, is a global biopharmaceutical company based in Santa Monica, California, with manufacturing operations in North America and Europe. Kite’s singular focus is cell therapy to treat and potentially cure cancer. As the cell therapy leader, Kite has more approved CAR T indications to help more patients than any other company.

About Gilead Sciences

Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the ability of Gilead and Kite to initiate, progress or complete clinical trials within currently anticipated timelines or at all, and the possibility of unfavorable results from ongoing and additional clinical trials, including those involving Yescarta; uncertainties relating to regulatory applications and related filing and approval timelines, including the risk that the European Commission may not grant marketing authorization for Yescarta for use in second-line DLBCL and HGBL in a timely manner or at all; the risk that any regulatory approvals, if granted, may be subject to significant limitations on use; the risk that physicians may not see the benefits of prescribing Yescarta for the treatment of LBCL; and any assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These and other risks, uncertainties and other factors are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties and is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead and Kite, and Gilead and Kite assume no obligation and disclaim any intent to update any such forward-looking statements.
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