SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Kite Pharma, Inc., 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 David D. Chang, M.D., Ph.D., as Executive Vice President, Research and Development, and Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Chang brings a substantial track record of innovation within oncology drug development, having most recently served as Vice President of Global Development and Head of Hematology-Oncology at Amgen. His appointment at Kite is effective immediately.
"David's accomplishments in the biotech industry align closely with our mission to innovate breakthrough, personalized approaches addressing unmet needs in cancer care," commented Dr. Arie Belldegrun, M.D., Kite's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are very pleased to attract a leader of David's caliber. We believe he will play an essential role in advancing our development pipeline of novel cancer immunotherapy candidates."
Dr. Chang stated, "Kite has earned its reputation as a leader in the burgeoning field of adoptive T-cell therapies for cancer. I am thrilled to join this stellar team and look forward to the progress of Kite's programs."
Prior to joining Kite, Dr. Chang held leadership roles of increasing responsibility during his more than decade-long tenure at Amgen. As Vice President of Global Development and Head of Hematology-Oncology, he spearheaded personalized therapy strategies underlying the success of colon cancer drug Vectibix®. He also ran the pivotal programs for blinatumomab, a bispecific T cell engager antibody in acute lymphocytic leukemia, and talimogene laherparepvec, a first-in-kind oncolytic immunotherapy in melanoma, and managed clinical development aspects of XGEVA®, Neulasta®/Neupogen®, Aranesp®, Vectibix®, and Nplate®, products accounting for over $8 billion in annual revenues. Dr. Chang's areas of responsibility at Amgen included: global regulatory interactions; product commercialization strategies; evaluation of business development opportunities; and integration of key acquisitions, including most recently of Onyx Pharmaceuticals. Prior to joining Amgen in 2002, Dr. Chang held dual appointments as associate professor of medicine and of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Chang obtained his B.S. degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and his fellowship in medical oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School, where he also was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute postdoctoral fellow.
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
SOURCE Kite Pharma, Inc.