Christi Shaw, current head of Eli Lilly Bio-Medicines will leave the company at the end of August, to become the new CEO of Kite Pharma, Gilead’s cell therapy subsidiary, which was recently separated to become an independent unit.
Shaw is expected to bring her experience to commercializing Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel), Kite’s approved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T- cell therapy treatment, and advancing the company’s cancer immunotherapy portfolio.
In a statement, Daniel O’Day, CEO of Gilead, said: “We conducted an extensive search for a new leader at Kite and we believe that Christi’s unique set of skills will allow us to continue to build on our leadership position in cell therapy.”
“Kite’s vision of transformational drug development – and of curing cancer – is one that I am extremely passionate about,” commented Shaw, who will be reporting to O’Day.
Prior to joining Lilly, Christi Shaw spent six years with Novartis, serving as the US head of the company, and as the North American head of Novartis Oncology.
Shaw currently also serves as a board member of Avantor and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), and as an advisor to the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.
Patrik Jonsson, Lilly’s Japan executive, will take over Shaw’s role in the company’s leadership.
Shortly after the appointment of Shaw, Gilead announced the departure of its CSO and head of R&D, John McHutchison, stating that it will “immediately commence a search for his successor.”
McHutchison was followed out the door by Gilead’s chief patient officer, Gregg Alton, and Katie Watson, EVP of human resources, who was immediately replaced by the company’s VP of human resources, Jyoti Mehra.