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Kite Pharma appoints Zelboraf scientist as CMO

Keith Nolop joins US cancer biotech from Plexxikon

Kite Pharma Keith NolopDr Keith Nolop, one of the chief scientists behind the development of Roche's personalised skin cancer drug Zelboraf, has been appointed chief medical officer of cancer specialist Kite Pharma.

Dr Nolop joins the US-based biotech from Plexxikon, where he served as senior VP and chief medical officer since 2004.

During this time, he was clinical lead for the development of Zelboraf (vemurafenib), which was co-developed by Roche and is predicted to reach peak-year sales of $1bn to $1.5bn after approvals in the US and EU.

At Plexxikon, he also led the filing of eight investigational New Drug Applications in cancer.

Prior to joining Plexxikon, Dr Nolop was VP of clinical research at CoTherix, where he led the development and US approval for Ventavis (iloprost) to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

He also spent 11 years at Schering-Plough, serving as clinical lead for three drug approvals.

"Dr Nolop's vast experience in drug development from conception to approval will be instrumental to advancing Kite's eACT products through multi-center clinical trials and on to registration," said Dr Aya Jakobovits, president and CEO of Kite Pharma.

"We are very pleased to welcome him to the Kite management team."

4th June 2013

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