Press Releases

Kite Pharma Appoints Dr. Gloria Lee Chief Medical Officer

LOS ANGELES, Calif., September 20, 2010 – Kite Pharma, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative active immunotherapies for cancer, announced today the appointment of Gloria Lee, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Lee, who brings over 18 years of oncology clinical development experience, will be responsible for the development of Kite's portfolio of product candidates.

"I am delighted to welcome Dr. Lee to Kite Pharma. Her extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry and prior accomplishments in oncology drug development will make her instrumental to the company's success as we continue to develop our products and expand our pipeline," said Aya Jakobovits, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Kite Pharma.

Before joining Kite, Dr. Lee served as Vice President of Clinical Development at Syndax Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Lee previously served as the Vice President of Clinical Research and Development at Cougar Biotechnology, which she joined in 2004. Dr. Lee was responsible for the clinical development of Cougar's portfolio of three proprietary molecules including Cougar's lead compound, abiraterone. Dr. Lee was instrumental in the advancement of abiraterone from IND, through phase I and II clinical studies, to the launch of a phase III program in prostate cancer. Cougar Biotechnology was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2009 in a transaction valued at $970 million.

"I look forward to joining forces with Gloria once again," said Arie Belldegrun, M.D, Chairman and Founder of Kite Pharma as well as the former Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for Cougar Biotechnology. "Her scientific and clinical expertise, coupled with her talent in bringing innovative oncology products to market, will further enhance Kite's ability to advance the clinical development of our innovative immune-based cancer therapies."

Prior to Cougar Biotechnology, Dr. Lee served as Senior Director, Clinical Development, Oncology at Chiron Corporation, and was Senior Therapeutic Expert in Pharmacogenetics and Clinical Science Leader in Oncology at Hoffman La Roche. Dr. Lee also served as Associate Director of Clinical Research and Medical Affairs at Rhone Poulenc-Rorer, where she was responsible for the clinical development of Taxotere® in breast cancer.

Dr. Lee holds an M.D., from The University of Miami School of Medicine and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Columbia University.

About Kite Pharma, Inc.

Kite Pharma, Inc. is a privately held development stage biotechnology company engaged in the design and development of cutting-edge immunotherapeutic products to treat different cancer indications. Kite's lead products include antigens associated with a wide variety of tumor types, and are initially being developed for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. These potential therapies are designed to stimulate a patient's own immune system to help fight cancer and could represent novel strategies for the management and treatment of these otherwise incurable diseases.  Kite is based in Los Angeles, CA.  For more information, visit the company's website at