Arie Belldegrun | Srivideo
Born/Date of Birth: 1949
Place of Birth: Israel
Citizenship: Israeli and American
Alma mater: Hadassah Medical Center
Weizmann Institute of Science
Known for: Founder of Kite Pharma
Net worth: Steady US$1 billion (2019)
Spouse(s): Rebecka Belldegrun
Relatives: Poju Zabludowicz (brother-in-law), Anita Zabludowicz (sister-in-law)
Arie S. Belldegrun (born 1949), FACS, is an Israeli-born American urologic oncologist, businessman and investor.
Early life and academia
Belldegrun was born in Israel. He received his medical degree from the Hadassah Medical Center at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1974, and conducted his post-graduate studies at the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1979. He completed his urologic surgery residency at Harvard Medical School in 1985, and his Surgical Oncology fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in 1988. 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. Belldegrun is the director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology, professor of urology, and chief of the Division of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine.
In 1996, Belldegrun established Agensys, an early-stage privately held biotechnology company based in Los Angeles, that is focused on the development of fully human monoclonal antibodies to treat solid tumor cancers in a variety of cancer targets. He served as its founding chairman of the board of directors from 1996 to 2002, and then as a director until December 2007, when Agensys was acquired by Astellas Pharma in a deal valued at $537 million.
Belldegrun has been the founding vice chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the scientific advisory board of Cougar Biotechnology since 2003, a Los Angeles-based company with a focus in the field of oncology. In July 2009, the company was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in a $970 million transaction. In April 2011, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved abiraterone acetate (Zytiga), Cougar's lead product, for late-stage prostate cancer.
Since 2008, Belldegrun has been the chairman and partner of Two River, a New York-based venture capital firm and merchant bank focused on the life science sector. It specializes in investments in life science, biotechnology, and in firms focused on developing preventative and therapeutic technologies for a broad spectrum of disease areas including oncology, cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders, and companion animal health care.
Belldegrun was the founder, chairman, president and CEO of Kite Pharma which he founded in 2009. Kite Pharma is a Santa Monica-based, commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapy products with a primary focus on engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT) designed to restore the immune system's ability to recognize and eradicate tumors. The company went public in June 2014. On August 28, 2017, Gilead Sciences announced that it would acquire Kite Pharma for $11.9 billion in an all-cash deal, equating to $180 cash per share. The deal will add the promising CAR-T candidate to Gilead's existing portfolio. The acquisition was completed in October 2017. In October 2017, Kite Pharma's therapy, Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) became the first CAR-T therapy approved by the FDA for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy.
Belldegrun is the co-founder and senior managing director of Vida Ventures, a Boston-based life sciences investment firm founded in 2017 by a group of scientists, physicians, entrepreneurs and investors passionate about building and funding breakthroughs in biomedicine. Its mission is to bring science to life and advance transformative biomedical innovations that have the potential to make a meaningful difference for patients. Vida Ventures has a bicoastal presence and as of April 2018 has approximately $295 million in assets under management. Some of the companies in its portfolio include Allogene Therapeutics, Kronos Bio, A2 Biotherapeutics, AskBio, Homology Medicines, Kadiant, Oyster Point Pharma, Peloton Therapeutics, Praxis Precision Medicines, Precision Medicine Group, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics and Sutro Biopharma. In August 2019, Vida Ventures closed its second fund (Vida Ventures II) with $600 million. Vida Ventures currently has approximately $1 billion in assets under management.
Belldegrun is the co-founder and executive chairman of Allogene Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ALLO), a San Francisco-based biotechnology company founded in 2017. Allogene has raised $300 in Series A fundraising, and $120 million in a private financing round. On October 11, 2018, Allogene Therapeutics raised $324 million in an initial public offering on the NASDAQ, listing under the ticker "ALLO".
In July 2019, it was reported that Bellco Capital, Belldegrun's family office, has entered into a joint venture with Tishman Speyer to start Breakthrough Properties. Belldegrun's son, Dan, is the company's CEO. The company purchased its first property in Boston's Seaport District for $80 million. According to the company's website, Breakthrough Properties "is a life science real estate development company that leverages cross-sector collaboration to deliver environments that foster innovation and scientific breakthroughs."
Belldegrun is married to Rebecka Belldegrun and together they have four children. They reside in Bel Air, an affluent neighborhood in Los Angeles.
In 2014, according to the Bloomberg Pay Index, Belldegrun was ranked the 8th highest-paid executive in the United States, with a pay package valued at $95.2 million. In 2015, The Hollywood Reporter's annual Hollywood's Top Doctors list included Belldegrun as one of the highest-rated urologists.
In 2019, in its annual ranking of the wealthiest people in Israel, Forbes Israel ranked Arie and Rebecka Belldegrun 42nd with a personal net worth of ₪4 billion (equivalent to US$1 billion). They have donated over $1 million to the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences, and have donated a $5 million sculpture to LACMA.
Belldegrun was featured in the 2017-2019 editions of the LA500-LA's Most Influential People, compiled by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and has been named Business Leader of the Year for 2018 in the Health Care category for a life dedicated to finding cures for cancer. He was also featured in the CEO Today USA Awards 2017 which celebrate the success, innovation and strategic vision of CEOs across a number of sectors, industries within the US, identifying the most successful, innovative and forward-thinking CEOs in business today. In June 2018, Belldegrun received the EY Master Entrepreneur Award at the Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 Awards.
Belldegrun has written over 500 scientific publications related to urologic oncology, and has authored several books on prostate and kidney cancers. He was one of the speakers at the Milken Institute Global Conference 2013, delivered the keynote Andrew C. Novick Memorial Lecture at the Ninth International Kidney Cancer Symposium, and regularly presents at the Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. It was announced that Belldegrun will present at the 34th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in January 2016.
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