Kyowa Kirin North America Announces Key Executive Appointments in R&D and Medical Affairs As Late-Stage Assets Move Toward Key Milestones

Ernesto Aycardi, M.D. joins as Chief Development Officer and Eslie Dennis, MBChB, FCP(SA) joins as Chief Medical Officer, North America

A new Global Medical Affairs Excellence function will be led by Deborah Braccia, BSN, MPA, PhD

BEDMINSTER, N.J., May 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Kyowa Kirin, Inc., an affiliate of Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd. (Kyowa Kirin, TSE: 4151) a global specialty pharmaceutical company, recently named Ernesto Aycardi, M.D., to the position of Chief Development Officer on April 26, and is welcoming Eslie Dennis, M.D., MBChB, FCP(SA) in the role of Chief Medical Officer today. These appointments come at a pivotal time for the company, as the North America region aims to realize the full potential of its existing commercial portfolio and compounds being investigated in the pipeline. In particular, the company is working on plans to advance KW-6356, a selective antagonist of adenosine A2A receptors, and KHK4083, an Anti-OX40 Fully Human Antibody, and is also collaborating with partner MEI Pharma to complete the pivotal study and shape a broader development program for zandelisib, a selective PI3Kδ inhibitor.

"Kyowa Kirin North America continues to grow at a rapid pace by advancing novel scientific discoveries into the clinic and generating evidence to demonstrate their value," says Gary Zieziula, President, North America region. "As we grow, it's imperative that we continue to add experienced and diverse talent to our regional leadership team to realize our ambition of having a profound impact on patient lives. I am pleased to welcome Ernesto and Eslie into important leadership roles that will ensure we make steady progress on development and deliver the necessary data and education programs to help physicians optimize use of our medicines."

Dr. Aycardi brings more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and clinical development to his role as Chief Development Officer. Before joining KKNA, he served as Xenon Pharmaceuticals' Chief Medical Officer. Throughout his career, Dr. Aycardi has also held key roles in clinical development, biostatistics, data management, translational medicine and medical research with Teva Pharmaceuticals, EMD Serono, Biogen Idec and Merck & Co. Dr. Aycardi's has worked in multiple therapeutic areas throughout his career, but has concentrated heavily in Neurology and conditions of the Central Nervous System. He received his medical degree in his home country of Colombia, and was a practicing neurologist there prior to joining industry.

"I am excited to be joining Kyowa Kirin and look forward to working with its outstanding leadership team. It is a great privilege to be part of a company that recognizes patients as its first priority," said Dr. Aycardi. "We will continue progressing the company's promising compounds through development with the goal of delivering high quality new therapies for patients in multiple disease areas. I am honored to be part of a team dedicated to that work."

Dr. Dennis comes to her role as Chief Medical Officer and head of KKNA Medical Affairs with over 20 years of experience overseeing registration studies, pre-launch market development and post-marketing medical affairs for both pharmaceutical and diagnostics organizations. More recently, she has been Vice President and Head of Global Medical Affairs for Roche Tissue Diagnostics. Previously, she led multi-stakeholder collaborations in Executive Director roles at the Critical Path Institute (C-Path). Prior to that, she held multiple leadership roles in Medical Affairs, including safety risk management and field medical affairs for Novartis. During her different roles, she has been based in South Africa, Switzerland and the United States. Dr. Dennis received her medical degree from the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine, University of Zimbabwe in Harare, Zimbabwe. She specialized in internal medicine, with a focus on hematology/oncology at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town and received her degree as a Fellow of the College of Physicians of South Africa.

Additionally, the company is appointing Deborah Braccia to a new role as Head of Global Medical Affairs Excellence. Under her leadership the company will grow and improve capabilities for Global Medical Information, Medical IT and Digital, Medical Communications and Publications, and Training. Dr. Braccia will build on her relationships and successes to date with Kyowa Kirin to ensure these critical capabilities are fully leveraged by teams across North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific and Japan in support of pipeline and commercial products.

"The Kyowa Kirin investigational pipeline and track record of developing novel therapeutics is impressive," says Dr. Dennis. "Having the opportunity to join a growing, dynamic, and talented organization is immensely appealing and energizing. Deb has built a very strong North American Medical Affairs organization and I'm thrilled to partner with her, and the entire Global Medical Affairs community, to take our team even further as One Kyowa Kirin."

About Kyowa Kirin North America
Kyowa Kirin strives to create and deliver novel medicines with life-changing value. As a Japan-based Global Specialty Pharmaceutical Company, we apply cutting-edge science and expertise in antibody research and engineering to address the needs of patients and society across multiple therapeutic areas, including Nephrology, Oncology, Immunology/Allergy and Neurology. Across four global regions – Japan, Asia Pacific, North America and EMEA/International – we are united by our shared values of commitment to life, teamwork/Wa, innovation, and integrity, and a drive to advance innovations that have a profound impact on patients. You can learn more about Kyowa Kirin North America at:

Lauren Walrath
Vice President, Public Affairs – North America

SOURCE Kyowa Kirin, Inc.

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