Kite Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Dec 21, 2015

Kite Pharma Appoints Industry Leader Shawn Cline Tomasello as Chief Commercial Officer

Led the Commercialization of Multi-Billion Dollar Products in Hematology-Oncology at Genentech, Celgene, and Pharmacyclics

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Dec. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kite Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:KITE) today announced that it has appointed Shawn Tomasello to the newly created position of Chief Commercial Officer. With over 30 years of experience in the life sciences industry, Ms. Tomasello has led commercial and medical affairs efforts at Pharmacyclics and commercial efforts at Celgene and Genentech. In her new role, Ms. Tomasello will build Kite's commercial and medical affairs operations, reporting to Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, and Cynthia M. Butitta, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.

"Shawn's tremendous record of accomplishment, including her leadership of three of the most successful programs in hematology-oncology, will be invaluable as we advance our lead product candidate, KTE-C19, in the clinic and prepare for commercialization," said Dr. Belldegrun. "We are thrilled that she is joining our team at this important time for Kite."

Prior to joining Kite, Ms. Tomasello served as Chief Commercial Officer at Pharmacyclics, Inc., during which time the brand Imbruvica® was awarded the prestigious 2015 Prix Galien Award for Best Pharmaceutical Agent. Previously, she held senior leadership positions at Celgene Corporation, including President of the Americas, Hematology and Oncology, in which she oversaw over $4 billion in product revenues. During her tenure at Celgene, Ms. Tomasello was responsible for all aspects of commercial sales and marketing for six brands encompassing 11 indications. One of these brands, Revlimid®, was awarded the Prix Galien USA 2008 Award for Special Therapeutic Development. Prior to this, she was National Director of Hematology for Rituxan® at Genentech, representing the most significant portion of the company's product revenue during her tenure. Earlier in her career, Ms. Tomasello held positions at Pfizer Laboratories, Miles Pharmaceuticals and Proctor & Gamble. She currently serves on the Boards of Oxford BioTherapeutics and Diplomat Rx. Ms. Tomasello received her BS degree in marketing from the University of Cincinnati and her MBA degree from Murray State University, KY.

"I am excited about this unique opportunity to join the talented team at Kite, a company dedicated to changing the paradigm of cancer treatment," said Ms. Tomasello.  "As we advance towards commercialization, I look forward to building and leading our commercial organization to bring Kite's potentially curative therapies to patients with a significant unmet need."

About Kite Pharma, Inc.

Kite Pharma, Inc., is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapy products, with a primary focus on engineered autologous cell therapy (eACT™) designed to restore the immune system's ability to recognize and eradicate tumors. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite Pharma, please visit www.kitepharma.com. Sign up to follow @KitePharma on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kitepharma.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Kite may, in some cases, use terms such as "predicts," "believes," "potential," "proposed," "continue," "estimates," "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "may," "could," "might," "will," "should" or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Kite's expectations regarding the ability to obtain regulatory approval of Kite's lead product candidate, KTE-C19, and other product candidates, and to successfully commercialize any product candidate. Various factors may cause differences between Kite's expectations and actual results, including risks and uncertainties associated with market conditions and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions related to the proposed offering, as well as risks and uncertainties discussed in greater detail in Kite's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including without limitation in Kite's Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the SEC on December 8, 2015. Any forward-looking statements that Kite makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Kite assumes no obligation to update its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

CONTACT: Kite Pharma, Inc.
Cynthia M. Butitta
Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer
310-824-9999

For Media: Justin Jackson
For Investor Inquiries: Lisa Burns
Burns McClellan
(212) 213-0006
jjackson@burnsmc.com
lburns@burnsmc.com