SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
Kite Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:KITE)
today announced that Owen N. Witte, M.D., the founding director of the
Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell
Research at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and a
renowned cancer researcher, has been appointed to its Board of
Directors. Dr. Witte will continue to serve as Chair of Kite's
Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and will play a vital role advising the
Board of Directors on the future of engineered cell therapy and
"Owen is a brilliant scientist with a rare combination of understanding
for basic research and translational medicine across academia and the
biopharmaceutical industry. For well over two decades, Owen has made
significant scientific discoveries resulting in medicines that have
changed the course of medical history," said Arie Belldegrun, M.D.,
FACS, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kite. "Owen's
decades of pioneering cancer research will be invaluable as Kite rapidly
accelerates new scientific programs for the next generation of
engineered cell therapies. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to
again work with Owen developing innovative cancer treatments for
patients in need."
Dr. Witte's seminal scientific work laid the foundation for the
fundamental understanding of human leukemias and epithelial cancer stem
cells which propelled the development of approved targeted cancer
therapies, including Gleevec® (imatinib) and Imbruvica® (ibrutinib). He
will bring extensive scientific experience to the Board as Kite plans
its future portfolio of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T cell
receptor (TCR) therapies, including allogeneic cell therapy, TCRs
targeting neoantigens, and other novel TCR approaches.
"Over the past eight years and as Chair of the Scientific Advisory
Board, it has been a privilege to witness Kite become a leader in the
field of engineered cell therapy for the treatment of cancer," said Dr.
Witte. "I am honored and excited to bring my scientific perspective to
the Board during this transformational time for the Company and for the
field. I look forward to continuing in my role as Chair of the SAB, and
contributing to the continued development and advancement of Kite's
industry-leading pipeline of CAR and TCR therapies."
Dr. Witte is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine. In
2015, he was re-appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve for
a second term on the President's Cancer Panel, which monitors the
development and execution of the National Cancer Program. Dr. Witte has
received many awards for his research, including most recently, in 2016,
the AAMC Award for Distinguished Research in Biomedical Sciences as well
as the Stanford Medical School Kornberg-Berg Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Witte joined the UCLA faculty in 1980, where he is presently a
University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics,
and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, holding the President's Chair in
Developmental Immunology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. For
30 years, until 2016, he was also an Investigator of the Howard Hughes
Medical Institute. Prior to UCLA, Dr. Witte completed his postdoctoral
research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Cancer
Research, working in the lab of Nobel Laureate, David Baltimore, Ph.D.
He also completed pre-doctoral research training in the lab of Irving
Weissman, M.D. while a medical student at Stanford University. Dr. Witte
received his Bachelor of Science Degree with highest honors in
microbiology from Cornell University and his Medical Degree from
Kite is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in
the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies with a goal of
providing rapid, long-term durable response and eliminating the burden
of chronic care. The company is focused on chimeric antigen receptor
(CAR) and T cell receptor (TCR) engineered cell therapies designed to
empower the immune system's ability to recognize and kill tumors. Kite
is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite, please visit www.kitepharma.com.
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Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe
harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. The press release 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 intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses
or current expectations concerning, among other things: the ability of
Kite to rapidly accelerate scientific programs for the next generation
of engineered cell therapies and the success of such programs. Various
factors may cause differences between Kite's expectations and actual
results as discussed in greater detail in Kite's filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation in its
Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. Any forward-looking
statements that are made in this press release speak only as of the date
of this press release. Kite assumes no obligation to update the
forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information,
future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.
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SVP, Corporate Communications &
VP, Investor Relations
Source: Kite Pharma, Inc.
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