SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kite Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq:KITE) today announced the appointment of Chris Nowers as its Head of Europe. Nowers will be based in London. In his new role, Nowers will oversee European commercial operations to build awareness in the region of Kite’s growing pipeline portfolio of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) and T-cell receptor (TCR) therapy product candidates and prepare for the potential launch of the company’s lead product candidate, KTE-C19.
“The addition of Chris Nowers to our executive team will be instrumental to Kite as we expand our global footprint,” said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Kite. “The breadth of Chris’ commercial experience in global immuno-oncology is impressive, and makes him well-qualified to propel our pipeline of CAR-T and TCR therapy candidates to treat both blood-based and solid cancers into international markets.”
A seasoned executive with 30 years of commercial leadership experience in pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostics companies, Nowers brings a track record of successfully driving differentiated strategies for product commercialization across therapeutic areas in a competitive global landscape.
“Kite is a truly innovative company at the cusp of transforming the paradigm of cancer treatment, and I am honored to play a role in bringing what could potentially be life-changing therapies to patients around the world,” said Nowers. “I look forward to working with such a dynamic and passionate team to advance our presence in Europe and continue our efforts in developing novel approaches in engineered cell therapy.”
Prior to joining Kite, Nowers held senior commercial leadership positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, including Head of Immuno-oncology and Hematology in France, where he led the successful launch of Opdivo (nivolumab), and as Vice President of Global Commercialization for Yervoy (ipilimumab), where he led the global commercial launch. Previously, Nowers was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Genomic Health, Inc., and Chief Executive Officer of Avantogen Oncology Inc., a company developing early-stage cancer therapeutics. Nowers also served 11 years at Amgen Inc. in a variety of commercial leadership roles, including Global Commercial Leader for Neurology and European Director for Oncology and Hematology.
Kite Pharma’s lead product candidate, KTE-C19, is an investigational therapy in which a patient’s T cells are engineered to express a CAR to target the antigen CD19, a protein expressed on the cell surface of B-cell lymphomas and leukemias, and redirect the T cells to kill cancer cells. KTE-C19 has been granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation status for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), transformed follicular lymphoma (TFL), and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Priority Medicines (PRIME) regulatory support for DLBCL in the EU.
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 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.
Kite Pharma, Inc. 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. 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 to expand European operations, and obtain approval for and commercially launch KTE-C19 and additional product candidates internationally. 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 June 30, 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.