Kite Pharma announced that Richard L. Wang, Ph.D. will be appointed chief executive officer of Fosun Kite Biotechnology Co., Ltd, the company’s 50/50 owned joint venture in China with Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (Group) Co., Ltd.The companies announced the formation of the joint venture in early 2017 to develop, manufacture and commercialize autologous T-cell therapies to treat cancer in China, including Kite’s lead cell therapy product candidate, axicabtagene ciloleucel. Final registration of the joint venture is ongoing.
“We are on the cusp of significant change with CAR-T therapy as a treatment for serious blood cancers,” said Arie Belldegrun, M.D., FACS, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Kite. “This type of revolutionary change requires deft management, a deep understanding of country-specific requirements, and the ability to unite the strengths of partners, collaborators and the local medical community. Together with Fosun Pharma, we believe Dr. Wang has the unique experience essential for the success of Fosun Kite Biotechnology, CAR-T therapy and axicabtagene ciloleucel in China.”
Dr. Wang has extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry including U.S. and China based leadership roles at Procter & Gamble, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Cellular Biomedicine Group, a U.S. listed clinical-stage immuno-oncology and cell therapy company with operations in China. Previously, Dr. Wang was Senior Site Leader and Head of Operations for GlaxoSmithKline research and development in Shanghai. He obtained a B.S. degree in Cell Biology from the University of Science & Technology of China, a Ph.D. degree in Molecular Biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and a M.B.A. degree from Xavier University in Cincinnati.
Under Dr. Wang’s leadership, the joint venture will establish business operations in Shanghai and build a senior leadership team to oversee technical operations and clinical development activities.