SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT) products for cancer, today announced the appointment of Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Belldegrun, who is also a founder of Kite, will continue in his current role as Chairman of the Company.
"Dr. Belldegrun has had a distinguished 18-year tenure in the life sciences industry, having been closely involved with the founding and advancement of successful private and public biopharmaceutical companies," commented David Bonderman, speaking on behalf of Kite's Board of Directors. "We are very pleased that he will take on his new role at Kite as the Company continues its momentum and further advances its broadly enabling platform in cancer immunotherapy."
Prior to founding Kite, Dr. Belldegrun was the founding Vice-Chairman of the board of directors and Chairman of the scientific advisory board of Cougar Biotechnology, acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2009 in a $970 million transaction. Previously, Dr. Belldegrun founded Agensys and served as Chairman of the board of directors. He also currently serves as Chairman of Arno Therapeutics, Inc., and as a board member of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., SonaCare Medical, and TheraCoat. In addition, Dr. Belldegrun is Professor of Urology, holds the Roy and Carol Doumani Chair in Urologic Oncology, and is Director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Dr. Belldegrun completed his M.D. training at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, his post-doctoral in immunology research at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel) and his residency in urologic surgery at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He also completed a research fellowship in surgical oncology and immunotherapy under Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., at the National Cancer Institute/NIH. Dr. Belldegrun has authored several books in oncology and more than 400 scientific and medical papers related to urologic cancers, immunotherapy, gene therapy, and cancer vaccines. He is certified by the American Board of Urology and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and of the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons.
About Kite Pharma
Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite) is a privately held 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'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 Santa Monica, CA.
Cynthia M. Butitta
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer
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SOURCE Kite Pharma, Inc.