kiteKite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ:KITE) announced the appointment of Jian Irish, Ph.D. as the company’s Senior Vice President of Supply Chain. The appointment of Dr. Irish, who will be responsible for establishing and securing a reliable supply chain, including sourcing, logistics, inventory management, procurement, supply and operations planning process, further increases the depth of an industry-leading cell therapy Supply Chain organization.

“Jian brings a wealth of supply chain and product development experience to Kite, as well as extensive international business acumen,” said Tim Moore, Executive Vice President, Technical Operations of Kite. “Her willingness to embrace new opportunities to innovate, coupled with her ability to partner and cultivate talent, makes Jian a great addition to the Technical Operations senior leadership team.”

Dr. Irish will work closely with both the commercial and technical operations organization to create operational strategies for supply chain design, product life cycle management, launch and commercialization as the company prepares for the potential approval of Kite’s lead product candidate, KTE-C19, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Coming from a family of medical doctors, I learned from a very young age to appreciate the power that medicine has to change lives,” said Dr. Irish. “I am excited to be a part of Kite, a company that is increasingly recognized for its leadership in CAR-T therapy as well as its drive to find a cure for cancer. I look forward to partnering with a stellar team of experienced professionals who have a common commitment to excellence at every level.”

Dr. Irish established her career in the biopharmaceutical industry through various global leadership roles. She joins Kite from Sanofi, where she most recently served as the Vice President of Biologics Strategic Supply, Sourcing and Partnerships. She also served as Vice President of Biologics Product Development Technology Transfer at Sanofi. In these roles, Dr. Irish oversaw the strategy and execution of the Biologics supply chain and technical transfer processes to scale up Sanofi Biological operations. Prior to Sanofi, Dr. Irish was the Executive Director, General Manager of Japan Asia Pacific Supply Chain at Amgen as well as the Executive Director, Global Head of Contract Manufacturing where Dr. Irish made a critical impact in the commercialization of Vectibix®, Xgeva®, and Enbrel®.

Dr. Irish holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, China, a Master of Science and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Chiba University in Chiba, Japan, and a Master of Business Administration from the Anderson School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles. (Original Source)

Shares of Kite Pharma are currently trading at $51.24, down $0.31 or 0.60%. KITE has a 1-year high of $75.90 and a 1-year low of $38.41. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $49.58 and its 200-day moving average is $53.81.

On the ratings front, KITE stock has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on November 29, Canaccord analyst John Newman reiterated a Buy rating on KITE, with a price target of $75, which implies an upside of 47% from current levels. Separately, on November 23, Jefferies’ Biren Amin reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $72.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, John Newman and Biren Amin have a yearly average loss of 12.3% and a return of 3.1% respectively. Newman has a success rate of 34% and is ranked #4144 out of 4243 analysts, while Amin has a success rate of 47% and is ranked #980.

Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on KITE stock. Out of 11 analysts who cover the stock, 9 suggest a Buy rating and 2 recommend to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $72.00, which represents a potential upside of 41% from where the stock is currently trading.

Kite Pharma, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company, which engages in the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products designed to target and kill cancer cells. It uses engineered autologous cell therapy, which involves the genetic engineering of T cells. Its lead product candidate, KTE-C19, a CAR-based therapy, which seeks treat patients with refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, primary mediastinal large B-Cell lymphoma, and transformed follicular lymphoma.