Stock Update (NASDAQ:KITE): Kite Pharma Inc Appoints Former Genentech, Inc. CEO Ian Clark to Board of Directors

Kite Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: KITE) announced that Ian T. Clark, former Chief Executive Officer, Head of Commercial Operations and member of the Board of Directors for Genentech, Inc., a member of the Roche Group, has been appointed to its Board of Directors.

Clark brings extensive commercialization experience to the Board as Kite plans for key milestones in 2017, including potential approval and launch in the United States of its engineered chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy, axicabtagene ciloleucel, as a treatment for patients with refractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

In addition to Clark’s appointment as an independent director to Kite’s Board, he was also appointed to serve as the Chairman of Kite’s newly established Commercialization Committee and will join Kite’s Audit Committee.

“We are very pleased to have Ian join our Board of Directors as we embark on potential approval and commercialization of axicabtagene ciloleucel by the U.S. FDA,” said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Kite. “Ian, with his tenure at the helm of Genentech and road-tested experience launching 15 new drugs, including the immunotherapy Tecentriq, strengthens our board’s breadth of talent and background. His expertise will bolster our already impeccable commercial team led by Shawn Tomasello. We look forward to drawing on his significant experience and strong track record developing and executing commercial strategies in oncology.”

“I have watched history begin to unfold as Kite has emerged as one of the leaders in cell therapy,” said Ian Clark. “I look forward to lending my expertise to the teams at Kite, the management and my fellow Board members as Kite solidifies its position in immunotherapy.”

Clark joined Genentech in 2003 as Senior Vice President and General Manager, BioOncology. In August 2005 he was named Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations and in January 2006, Clark was named Executive Vice President, Commercial Operations and became a member of the Executive Committee. Clark was named Head of Global Product Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer of Roche in April 2009.

Prior to joining Genentech, Clark served as General Manager of Novartis Canada, overseeing all of the company’s country operations. Before assuming his post in Canada, Clark served as Chief Operating Officer for Novartis United Kingdom. Clark worked in executive positions in sales and marketing for Sanofi and Ivax in the United Kingdom, France and Eastern Europe. Clark began his career at Searle, where he held management positions in both sales and marketing.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) since 2009 as well as on the boards of TerraVia, the Gladstone Foundation and as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Economic Advisory Council. Clark received a Bachelor of Science degree and honorary doctorate in Biological Sciences fromSouthampton University in the United Kingdom. (Original Source)

Shares of Kite Pharma Inc closed yesterday at $48.98. KITE has a 1-year high of $64.30 and a 1-year low of $38.41. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $49.05 and its 200-day moving average is $52.24.

On the ratings front, Kite Pharma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, Roth Capital analyst Mark Breidenbach initiated coverage with a Buy rating on KITE and a price target of $68, which represents a potential upside of 39% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on December 18, Jefferies Co.’s Biren Amin reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $72.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Mark Breidenbach and Biren Amin have a yearly average loss of -26.8% and a return of 1.8% respectively. Breidenbach has a success rate of 13% and is ranked #4278 out of 4369 analysts, while Amin has a success rate of 43% and is ranked #1595.

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. The company was founded by Arie S. Belldegrun, James S. Economou and Joshua A. Kazam in June 2009 and is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA.

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