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Juno defeats Kite Pharma's challenge to blood cancer treatment patent

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office upheld Juno Therapeutics' U.S. patent covering chimeric antigen receptor, or CAR, T-cell used for the treatment of blood cancers known as B-cell malignancies.

The patent covers a construct for a CD-19 targeted CAR T-cell treatment that employs a CD28 co-stimulatory domain. Juno exclusively licenses the patent from Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research.

Kite Pharma Inc., which had attempted to invalidate Juno's patent through an inter partes review filed in August 2015, said it would appeal the decision. It also said the ruling will have no impact on the timing of its biologics license application for KTE-C19, or axicabtagene ciloleucel.

Juno said it is also suing Kite Pharma, "seeking a declaratory judgment that Kite's lead product candidate, KTE-C19, will infringe the patent when commercially produced."

B-cell malignancies represent a collection of diseases, including most non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, some leukaemias, and myelomas.