Press Releases

Kite Pharma Expands and Strengthens Leadership Team

Salah D. Kivlighn, Ph.D., Joins Kite as Vice President of Marketing
Anthony J. Polverino, Ph.D., Joins as Vice President of Research

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Kite Pharma, Inc., (Nasdaq: KITE), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointments of Salah D. Kivlighn, Ph.D., as Vice President, Marketing, and Anthony J. Polverino, Ph.D., as Vice President, Research.  Dr. Kivlighn will play a critical role spearheading the Company's marketing strategy.  He will report to Cynthia M. Butitta, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.  Dr. Polverino will lead the research and development of various eACT™ candidates.  He will report to Margo R. Roberts, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer.

Kite Pharma, Inc.'s logo.

"We are delighted to welcome Salah and Tony, two accomplished industry professionals, to the Kite team," said Ms. Butitta.  "These additions reflect our ability to attract successful and seasoned executives based on the progress of our programs.  The expansion of our senior management team will support our initiatives to pioneer the development of innovative cancer immunotherapy products."  

Salah Kivlighn, Ph.D.

Dr. Kivlighn has more than twenty-five years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.  Most recently, he was a Global Product Development Team leader at Medimmune, spearheading programs in oncology and autoimmunity, and prior to this was Head of Global Strategic Marketing.  Previously, Dr. Kivlighn was Head of New Product Planning / Commercial Analytical Process Owner at NABI Biopharmaceuticals.  He began his career at Merck and Company, assuming roles of increasing responsibility for global marketing activities in diverse franchise areas. While at Merck, Dr. Kivlighn played a key role in the development, launch and brand management of Cozaar, a brand which grew to approximately $3.5B in global sales. In addition, Dr. Kivlighn served as the U.S. commercial lead for the launch of RotaTeq, a vaccine for the prevention of rotavirus-induced gastroenteritis in children. Dr. Kivlighn has authored or co-authored more than 75 peer-reviewed articles and holds a B.S. in Distributed Studies from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Houston.

Anthony Polverino, Ph.D.

Dr. Polverino has substantial background and expertise in the immunotherapy field.   He joins Kite from Amgen, most recently serving as Executive Director Research, Therapeutic Innovation Unit, a role in which he made significant contributions to advancing multiple clinical programs, including immunotherapy.  Previous positions at Amgen included Director Research, Department of Oncology Research. Dr. Polverino began his career as a scientist at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and he has authored or co-authored more than 35 peer-reviewed articles.  He holds a B.S. in Biochemistry/Physiology from Adelaide University, Australia, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Flinders University, also in Adelaide.

About Kite Pharma

Kite Pharma, Inc., is a 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™ peripheral blood product candidates, both CAR (chimeric antigen receptor) and TCR (T cell receptor) products, directed to a wide range of cancer indications. Kite is based in Santa Monica, CA. For more information on Kite Pharma, please visit

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. We 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 our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: the ability to develop and advance eACT™ product candidates.  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-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014. Any forward-looking statements that we make in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.

CONTACT: Kite Contacts:

Claudine Prowse
SVP, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations
(310) 742-2806

For Media: Justin Jackson
Burns McClellan
(212) 213-0006

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SOURCE Kite Pharma, Inc.

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