ARIE BELLDEGRUN, MD
Executive Chairman and Co-Founder
Dr. Arie Belldegrun is the executive chairman of Allogene Therapeutics Inc., a gene therapy cancer treatment company he co-founded this year with Dr. David Chang. He also founded cancer biopharmaceutical company Kite Pharma and served as chairman, president and chief executive until it was acquired by Gilead Sciences last year for about $12 billion and renamed Kite, a Gilead Company. Belldegrun remains vice chairman of the board of directors for FosunKite, the joint venture formed between Fosun Pharma and Kite, a Gilead Company, to develop cell therapy in China. Belldegrun has been involved with the founding and advancement of several biopharma companies including Cougar Biotechnology, which developed abiraterone acetate to treat patients with metastatic prostate cancer, and Agensys Inc. He chairs Two River Group, UroGen Pharma Ltd. and Kronos Bio, and is a senior managing director of Vida Ventures, a life sciences investment firm he co-founded last year. He also is a professor of urology and is director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
What is your alma mater?
M.D. at the Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem; Post-graduate studies in Immunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science; Residency in urologic surgery at Harvard Medical School
What is your next project?
Allogene Therapeutics is a biotechnology company with a mission to catalyze the next revolution in cancer treatment through the development of allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) therapy directed at blood cancers and solid tumors. Founded and led by former Kite Pharma executives who bring unrivaled clinical development acumen in cell therapy, Allogene is well-positioned to further the potential of allogeneic cell therapy for patients. Allogeneic CAR T therapies are engineered from cells of healthy donors and stored for “off-the-shelf” use in patients. This approach eliminates the need to create personalized therapy from a patient’s own cells, simplifies manufacturing, and reduces the time patients must wait for CAR T treatment. The Allogene portfolio includes 16 pre-clinical T cell therapy assets and UCART19, an allogeneic CAR T therapy currently in Phase 1 development for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Through its notable partnerships, Allogene leverages pioneering technology platforms, including TALEN gene editing technology, to progress its portfolio of immuno-oncology therapies. Allogene, with headquarters in San Francisco, California, is a Two River portfolio company formed with one of the largest Series A financings in biotechnology from an investment consortium that includes TPG, Vida Ventures, BellCo Capital, the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer, Gilead and Pfizer.