SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointment of Jeffrey S. Wiezorek, M.D., M.S., to the newly created position of Vice President, Clinical Development. Dr. Wiezorek will assume responsibilities for leading Kite Pharma's clinical programs upon the retirement of Chief Medical Officer Dr. Keith Nolop, who is continuing as an advisor to Kite Pharma for a transitional period. Dr. Wiezorek most recently served as Executive Medical Director, Global Product Area Lead at Amgen. His appointment at Kite Pharma is effective immediately.
Dr. Arie Belldegrun, M.D., Kite's President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Jeff Wiezorek brings valuable expertise in all stages of clinical development, and this will be critical as Kite advances its breakthrough programs in cancer immunotherapy. We are excited to welcome Jeff to our leadership team." Dr. Belldegrun continued, "We also are grateful to Keith Nolop for the accomplishments he has achieved during his tenure. Keith has been an integral part of our success, and we wish him well."
Dr. Wiezorek stated, "Kite has made great progress leading the development of new approaches to the treatment of intractable cancers. I am excited to join a team that I believe is uniquely positioned to deliver on the potential and promise of cancer immunotherapy for patients."
Prior to joining Kite Pharma, Dr. Wiezorek held roles of increasing responsibility over 9 years at Amgen. In his most recent position as Executive Medical Director, Global Development, he had global oversight of the clinical strategy for the immunotherapy (including blinatumomab and talimogene laherparepvec), angiogenesis, and denosumab oncology product areas. Previously, he served as Global Development Leader for multiple programs encompassing phase 1 through phase 4 trials. In these roles, Dr. Wiezorek worked closely with global regulatory agencies, and he was the development lead for the approval of Vectibix in combination with chemotherapy in Europe. Dr. Wiezorek is author or co-author on more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and presentation abstracts. He received his B.A. degree in biophysics from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.D. degree from Columbia University. Dr. Wiezorek trained in internal medicine at Stanford University and also completed a fellowship in oncology at UCLA. Prior to joining Amgen, he investigated the role of nuclear factor-kappaB in cellular proliferation and cancer pathogenesis in the laboratory of Dr. David Baltimore at the California Institute of Technology.
About Kite Pharma
Kite Pharma, Inc., 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 novel immunotherapies and other oncology treatments. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA.
Cynthia M. Butitta
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer
For Media:Justin Jackson
For Investor Inquiries: Kimberly Minarovich
SOURCE Kite Pharma, Inc.