Arie Belldegrun, M.D. – Chairman
Dr. Belldegrun is Professor of Urology, holds the Roy and Carol Doumani Chair in Urologic Oncology, and Director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Belldegrun has been closely involved with the founding, development and sale of several private and public biopharmaceutical companies. In 1996 he founded Agensys, and served as its founding Chairman of the board of directors. Dr. Belldegrun was also the founding vice-chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the scientific advisory board of Cougar Biotechnology that was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2009 in a $970 million transaction.
Dr. Belldegrun also serves as chairman and partner of Two River Group, a New York–based venture capital firm and merchant bank focusing on building biotechnology companies. He is Chairman of Arno Therapeutics, Inc. and a Director of Nile Therapeutics, Inc., two portfolio companies of Two River Group. Dr. Belldegrun completed his M.D. at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem, his post graduate fellowship at the Weizmann Institute of Science and his residency in Urological Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Prior to UCLA, Dr. Belldegrun was at the National Cancer Institute/NIH as a research fellow in surgical oncology and immunotherapy under Dr. Steven A. Rosenberg. He has authored more than 400 scientific and medical papers related to urological cancers, immunotherapy, gene therapy, and cancer vaccines. He is certified by the American Board of Urology, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Genitourinary Surgeons (AAGUS). Dr. Belldegrun’s laboratory has developed GM-CAIX and related products and has published extensively on the potential of CAIX in cancer therapy.
David Bonderman is a founding partner of TPG. TPG generally makes significant investments in operating companies through acquisitions and restructurings across a broad range of industries throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
TPG and its affiliates have approximately $48 billion of capital under management. Portfolio companies controlled by TPG have combined revenues of over $85 billion, operate in more than 130 countries and employ approximately 600,000 people. Among the portfolio companies of TPG are: PETCO; IMS Health; Avaya; Harrah’s Entertainment, Energy Future Holdings (TXU); Neiman Marcus; SunGard and Univision.
Prior to forming TPG in 1992, Mr. Bonderman was Chief Operating Officer of the Robert M. Bass Group, Inc. (now doing business as Keystone Group, L.P.) in Fort Worth, Texas. Prior to joining RMBG in 1983, Mr. Bonderman was a partner in the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in corporate, securities, bankruptcy and antitrust litigation. From 1969 to 1970, Mr. Bonderman was a Fellow in Foreign and Comparative Law in conjunction with Harvard University and from 1968 to 1969; he was Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division. From 1967 to 1968, Mr. Bonderman was Assistant Professor at Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans.
Mr. Bonderman graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1966. He was a member of the Harvard Law Review and a Sheldon Fellow. He is a 1963 graduate of the University of Washington in Seattle. Mr. Bonderman serves on the Boards of the following public companies: Armstrong Worldwide Industries, Inc.; CoStar Group, Inc.; General Motors Company; and Ryanair Holdings, plc, of which he is Chairman. He also serves on the Boards of The Wilderness Society, the Grand Canyon Trust, The University of Washington Foundation and the American Himalayan Foundation.
Professor of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He was active in the formation of UCLA’s California NanoSystems Institute and serves as Co-Chairman of the Zhejiang California NanoSystems Institute in China. Roy is Vice Chairman of the first joint venture bank in the PRC, Xiamen International Bank and has been involved with numerous financial institutions as Founder, Chairman and Director. He also assisted in the formation of Agensys and served on its Board of Directors. Roy is a member of RAND’s Center for Asia Pacific Policy’s advisory board, Chairman of the Pacific Pension Institute’s advisory board and serves on the UCLA Foundation’s investment committee.
Aya Jakobovits, Ph.D. – President and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Jakobovits joined Kite in September 2010 and brings over 20 years of broad experience in the biotech industry. Prior to joining Kite, Dr. Jakobovits served as Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development at Agensys, Inc., an affiliate of Astellas Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which acquired Agensys in a deal valued at $537 million in December 2007. Prior to the acquisition, Dr. Jakobovits served as Senior Vice President, Technology and Corporate Development, and Chief Scientific Officer of Agensys, which she joined in 1999 and led its transition from a small gene discovery lab into a fully integrated biotech company. She directed research and development, clinical, business and corporate development, and intellectual property activities. Under her leadership, the company established a large proprietary portfolio of novel cancer targets protected by a strong patent estate, a clinical pipeline of therapeutic human antibodies in multiple cancer indications, and partnerships with Genentech, Merck, Sanofi-aventis and Seattle Genetics.
Before joining Agensys, Dr. Jakobovits served as the Director, Discovery Research and Principal Scientist at Abgenix, Inc., which was spun out of Cell Genesys in 1996, based on XenoMouse® technology developed under her leadership. Abgenix was acquired by Amgen, Inc. for $2.2 billion. Dr. Jakobovits initiated the development of XenoMouse® technology in 1989 at Cell Genesys, Inc., where she was a scientist founder and served as Director of Molecular Immunology. Dr. Jakobovits was a postdoctoral fellow at Genentech, Inc. and at the University of California, San Francisco. She received her Ph.D. in Life Sciences from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. Dr. Jakobovits is an author of over 50 scientific publications and inventor on over 100 patents related to XenoMouse® technology, proteomics technology, novel cancer targets and antibody therapeutics.
Joshua A. Kazam
Mr. Kazam is a co-founder and Partner of Two River. He currently serves as Vice President of Two River's managing member and also serves as an Officer and Director of Riverbank Capital Securities, Inc., a FINRA member broker dealer ("Riverbank"). Prior to co-founding Two River, he was employed by a venture capital firm specializing in biotechnology investments, where he most recently served as Managing Director and was responsible for ongoing operations of venture investments. In addition, Mr. Kazam served as the Director of Investment Management for the Orion Biomedical Fund, a New York based private equity fund focused on biotechnology investments.
Mr. Kazam received his degree in entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Steven B. Ruchefsky
Mr. Ruchefsky is President of Commercial Street Capital LLC, a private investment company and significant stockholder in Kite Pharma. For the last decade, Mr. Ruchefsky has been working as a private investment manager for the founder and CEO of a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. Mr. Ruchefsky began his career at a prominent New York City law firm where he became a partner, member of management and chair of a specialized litigation group. Upon leaving his law firm and prior to his current employment, Mr. Ruchefsky was a principal of an early stage venture capital operation. Mr. Ruchefsky currently sits on the boards of several public and private companies, including Arno Therapeutics Inc. and Itamar Medical.
Mr. Ruchefsky is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School.