Commitment to Life
We strive to contribute to the health and well-being of communities by pursuing advances in life sciences and technologies.
Kyowa Kirin North America is a fully integrated specialty pharmaceutical company, where people work together to understand clinical needs and opportunities for innovation that can result in real advances for patients. Since 2018, the North American organization has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market 3 first-in-class medicines – achievements we share with the scientific, medical, and advocacy communities who contributed greatly to the success of these programs.
At Kyowa Kirin, our Core Values drive us to do everything we can to answer the needs of patients, their families, and medical professionals. We act consistently with these Core Values in mind – Commitment to Life, Innovation, Integrity, and Teamwork/Wa.
We strive to contribute to the health and well-being of communities by pursuing advances in life sciences and technologies.
We aim to do the right things by being sincere, honest, and ethically consistent in all our business practices and interactions.
We transform lives with passion and excitement — challenging the status quo in all that we do.
We believe in one for all, and all for one by going beyond boundaries and collaborating with our stakeholders.
*Wa = The Japanese principle of seeking the harmony of the team over personal interests.
Within our walls and across our industry, collaboration is the way Kyowa Kirin North America does business. Our history of innovation is built on forming and fostering collaborations that accelerate the delivery of new science to patients and heighten the impact of every person involved.
Some collaborations start small and grow to deliver extraordinary results. This has been true throughout Kyowa Kirin’s history. The Kirin Amgen joint venture, which lasted from 1984 until 2017, resulted in the development, worldwide commercialization, and manufacturing of epoetin alfa (marketed as Epogen® in the US, Espo® in Japan), filgrastim (Neupogen® in the US, Gran® in Japan), pegfilgrastim (Neulasta® in the US, G-Lasta® in Japan), and darbepoetin alfa (Aranesp® in the US, NESP® in Japan). Today, Kyowa Kirin continues to enjoy strong, enduring relationships with the La Jolla Institute for Immunology Research and a variety of other business partners focused on advancing discoveries for patients. We also continue to work across our business to find new ideas in need of acceleration.
When you join our team, you become part of an organization that believes in an integrated and collaborative approach to solving problems and achieving goals. We welcome people who share our spirit of innovation and enthusiasm for helping patients to join us.
Ms. Ana Bastiani-Posner joined Kyowa Kirin in June 2020 as EVP, chief financial officer for Kyowa Kirin North America. Prior to Kyowa Kirin, Ms. Bastiani-Posner held the position of SVP, finance and administration at the New York Genome Center as a member of its executive team. In the last 20 years, Ms. Bastiani-Posner held positions of increasing responsibility in the pharmaceutical industry at Schering-Plough, Novartis and Allergan across multiple functions including R&D, G&A, commercial finance, and corporate financial planning & analysis. She developed deal models, led Merger and acquisition activities, business integration and synergy efforts through several pharmaceutical deals including the proposed mega-merger of Pfizer-Allergan. She is originally from Brazil where she began her finance career in the banking industry in 1985. She holds a bachelor's degree from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul and a master of international management from Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management.
Ms. Tara D’Orsi joined Kyowa Kirin in September 2017 and was appointed EVP, chief compliance officer and general counsel in 2019. Prior to joining Kyowa Kirin, Ms. D’Orsi was a member of the Life Sciences group at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, where she advised biotech and pharmaceutical companies on legal and compliance matters throughout a medicine's lifecycle, from development through commercialization. Throughout her career, Ms. D’Orsi has played a leadership role in providing legal and compliance advice designed to minimize risk and achieve her clients’ business objectives. She previously served as the General Counsel of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Rahway and spent 6 years as Senior Counsel of Reliant Pharmaceuticals, before it was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline in 2007. She began her career with a judicial clerkship in the New Jersey State Superior Court before taking positions in the Life Sciences and Healthcare groups at Gibbons PC and K&L Gates LLP.
Dr. Andrew McKnight joined Kyowa Kirin as chief scientific officer (CSO) in 2015. He currently holds the position of president and CSO at Kyowa Kirin Pharmaceutical Research. He is responsible for early-stage drug discovery within Kyowa Kirin’s Immunology & Allergy division. Dr. McKnight trained as an immunologist. He earned a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Oxford, followed by post-doctorate work in research labs at Harvard and Oxford. He moved into the biopharma industry with Celltech in the UK (subsequently acquired by UCB) as head of molecular biology and project leader for both inflammatory disease and oncology projects. He joined Pfizer's Global R&D Division in the UK and later transferred to their site in Boston, USA. At Pfizer, Dr. McKnight managed a research group focused on the discovery of fully-human mAbs from individuals who had recovered from bacterial infections and also participated in business development activities while scouting for external scientific alliances with specialized biotechs. In 2012, Dr. McKnight joined AnaptysBio in San Diego, where he was instrumental in reinvigorating their R&D pipeline, resulting in their first independent clinical studies and a successful IPO.
Mr. Paul Testa joined Kyowa Kirin in 2019 as EVP for supply chain and operations. Previously, he held senior executive positions in global supply chain and operations at Shire (acquired by Takeda) and Johnson & Johnson — most recently leading 500+ professionals in 25+ countries, leading a supply chain strategic transformation, and helping Shire to grow its revenue from $3 billion to ~$15 billion. He earned a bachelor of science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master of science degree from Washington University, and a master of business administration degree from Boston University.
Britt Byers joined Kyowa Kirin in January 2021 and was appointed SVP, Head of Human Resources for North America. Over a 25 year career, Britt has held senior roles spanning the pharmaceutical industry, with Sanofi and Novartis, as well as in the financial services sector, with Bank of America. Her experience includes a wide range of HR roles with deep expertise as a Strategic Business Partner to Commercial teams, R&D and global functions as well as Shared Service leadership with oversight for HR Operations, Call Center management, Occupational Health, Meeting & Events Management, Multimedia Studio and Travel and Expense. Mrs. Byers also serves as a board member for a private nonprofit agency, JBWS, that provides safety, support and solutions for abuse and aims at the prevention of domestic violence. Britt earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Susquehanna University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology at Kean University.
Nancy Maher joined Kyowa Kirin as SVP, Chief Information Officer, North America in January 2021. In this role, she is responsible for regional digital and data innovations and collaborations across global and regional initiatives aligned with KKNA plans for growth. Nancy has an extensive record of accomplishment as a global IT leader in the pharmaceutical, medical device, and consumer goods industries, including managing large-scale, technology-enabled business transformation programs. Ms. Maher previously served as VP, Divisional Information Officer for Global Commercial, Medical Affairs, Corporate Functions and Global Digital Technologies for Gilead Sciences. In this role, she managed business relationship management, IT strategy, platform solutions and cross-divisional capabilities. Prior to Gilead, Ms. Maher held senior IT and digital strategy roles at Teva, Allergan, Merck, and Schering-Plough. She holds a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Maryland, and serves in an advisory capacity on several industry and technology-related boards.
Mr. Sawada leads efforts to formulate and implement the global product strategy for POTELIGEO® through all teams and operations within the United States. He also serves as a board member for the North America board of directors. Mr. Sawada's experience includes roles leading the global development of POTELIGEO® and Crysvita®, and Japanese and Asian development of NESP® in collaboration with Amgen.
Dr. Snehal Shah is SVP of Regulatory Affairs and Pharmacovigilance at Kyowa Kirin, North America. Dr. Shah has more than 15 years of global experience in regulatory science and pharmacovigilance, gained at leading pharmaceutical companies including Hoffmann La-Roche/Genentech and Noven Pharmaceuticals (member of the Hisamitsu Group). He has led biologics and small-molecule development programs in rare orphan diseases, oncology, CNS, virology, transplantation, inflammation, endocrinology, and women’s health, at all product lifecycle phases through commercialization. Most notably, Dr. Shah has provided strategic regulatory leadership to successfully bring more than a dozen market applications from filing through approval, resulting in first-in-class treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause, cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Shah holds a bachelor of science degree in pharmacy from Rutgers University and a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Kansas. He also completed the American Course of Drug Development and Regulatory Sciences Certification program at the University of California, San Francisco.
Mr. Tsukii was appointed global product leader for istradefylline in 2019. Mr. Tsukii has worked for Kyowa Kirin in Japan for 15 years, where he served as project leader for several CNS development programs. He joined Kyowa Kirin North America in 2016, and has since taken on leadership and planning responsibilities for a global CNS development project as it progresses from development to commercialization.
Mr. Joe Zarkoski joined Kyowa Kirin in 2019. As Vice President for North America, he leads the regional Quality organization responsible for oversight and disposition of both clinical and commercial products. Mr. Zarkoski brings 25+ years of industry experience in quality, manufacturing, and supply chain roles with large and small molecule products including monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, solids and liquids. He has led teams and developed strategic initiatives at both site and global levels. Before joining Kyowa Kirin, Mr. Zarkoski was the VP of Technical Operations & Quality for Synergy Pharmaceuticals. Over the course of his career, he has also held key leadership roles at Merck, Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth, Pfizer, and Shire. Mr. Zarkoski holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Villanova University and is a certified Six Sigma Process Excellence Green Belt.
“The reason I joined this industry was for the patient – commitment to life is really the most important value to me personally. Our tagline is taking the walk of life one life at a time and making sure that we are doing the right thing for the patient.”
– Sue Smith, VP
Oncology Business Unit
“Innovation is at the forefront of everything we do; the research labs apply novel technologies, sourcing novel ideas from other academic institutions and bringing them into our organization. Of the three products that have been approved, they’ve all been first-in-class, new molecular entities.
– Deb Braccia, VP
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