LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT) products for cancer, today announced the appointment of Cynthia M. Butitta to the newly created position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. A veteran financial and operational executive, Ms. Butitta brings over 20 years' experience in leadership roles in the biotech and technology industries. Her appointment is effective immediately.
Arie Belldegrun, M.D., Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Kite Pharma, commented, "Cindy has an outstanding track record and depth and breadth of experience in capital fund raising, strategic planning and investor relations at both private and public biotechnology companies. We are delighted to welcome her to the team and believe her unique capabilities and expertise will greatly benefit Kite as we pursue our clinical and business objectives."
Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Butitta served as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of NextWave Pharmaceuticals. During her tenure, Ms. Butitta was responsible for finance and administration, distribution and project management and played a key role in the Company's acquisition by Pfizer, Inc. for $700 million. Previously, she was Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Telik, Inc. At Telik, Ms. Butitta was responsible for securing over $450 million through an IPO and subsequent follow-on offerings and oversaw financial reporting and controls, investor relations, information technology, manufacturing, quality, project management and commercial operations. Previously, she served as Vice President of Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer for Connetics, Inc., a public biotechnology company. Ms. Butitta received her B.S. degree with honors in Business and Accounting from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin and her MBA degree in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Ms. Butitta stated, "I am thrilled to join the accomplished executive management team at Kite. As a leading company in the emerging and highly promising field of immunotherapy, Kite has the opportunity to play a pivotal role in changing the way we approach cancer. It is an exciting time for the Company, with recent clinical breakthroughs reported at a major cancer conference, and I look forward to contributing to Kite's continued evolution and growing presence within the life sciences industry."
About Kite Pharma
Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite) is a privately held development stage biotechnology 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, Kite is advancing a pipeline of proprietary eACT product candidates, both CAR and TCR products, directed to a wide range of cancer indications. These novel personalized and targeted immunotherapies, which capitalize on the selectivity and potency of immune cells, are designed to provide significant and durable clinical benefit regardless of tumor origin, disease stage, and prior treatments. Kite's management team has a proven track record of building successful biotechnology companies and successfully developing cutting-edge immunotherapies and oncology treatments. Kite is based in Los Angeles, CA. For more information, visit the company's website at http://www.kitepharma.com.
Dr. Arie Belldegrun
SOURCE Kite Pharma, Inc.