Kyowa Kirin Taps Pharma Industry Veteran Steve Schaefer to Lead North America Expansion

Kyowa Kirin Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical company based in Japan, is delighted to introduce Steve Schaefer as President of North America, effective immediately. Mr. Schaefer brings a wealth of pharmaceutical experience to KKNA, having held senior executive roles at Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company. With his arrival, Kyowa Kirin Inc. is looking forward to continuing its growth and success in the North American market.

I am thrilled to join Kyowa Kirin, a company dedicated to revolutionizing patient lives through its pioneering medicines. I am committed to leveraging the company’s innovative research, development, commercialization, and business partnership capabilities to further its groundbreaking therapies and provide maximum value to patients across North America.

Mr. Schaefer brings an impressive 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to the table. As Senior Vice President of the Neuroscience Business Unit and Head of U.S. Commercial Operations, he was responsible for a multi-billion dollar portfolio of specialty medicines, as well as commercial data and analytics, forecasting, sales and marketing operations, and corporate training and leadership development. Before joining Takeda, Mr. Schaefer held various roles with Eli Lilly and Company in marketing, sales, and general management.

Gary Zieziula, who assumed the role of President, North America in April 2020 and led the company through a period of incredible growth and transformation, is retiring and handing the position over to Mr. Schaefer. Mr. Zieziula will continue to be a valued advisor to the company, as he joins the North America Board of Directors to ensure a seamless transition.

I am proud to have served as President of our company for the past three years, during which we made tremendous progress in terms of bringing in new talent, integrating our North American operations, and adding the necessary capabilities to better serve our patients and providers.

I am confident that with Mr. Schaefer at the helm, the company will reach new heights and have an even greater impact on patients’ lives. I look forward to continuing to work with him in my role as a board member to further strengthen and grow the organization.

Kyowa Kirin’s North American (KKNA) region is experiencing a surge of growth, becoming a major contributor to the company’s global success. Representing over a quarter of its total revenues, KKNA employs nearly 600 staff across the US and Canada, delivering first-in-class medicines across three therapeutic areas; Neurology, Oncology and Rare Disease.

KKNA’s success is a testament to the company’s commitment to providing world-class treatments and solutions to those in need.

Under the exemplary leadership of Gary, KKNA has experienced tremendous growth and achieved great success in managing three commercial franchises and fostering a strong business culture. We are delighted to welcome Steve to the team, whose diverse leadership experience and commitment to patient-focused innovation will help propel KKNA forward.

Masashi Miyamoto, President and CEO of Kyowa Kirin Co., Ltd., is looking forward to collaborating with Steve and the entire leadership team to ensure a smooth transition.

Mr. Schaefer is a true patriot, having proudly served as Captain in the United States Marine Corps. His dedication to veterans’ causes continues to this day, further demonstrating his deep commitment to our country.

His impressive educational background includes a BA in economics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and an MBA from LaSalle University, Philadelphia. His commitment to education and his service to our nation make him an exemplary role model.

About Kyowa Kirin

Kyowa Kirin strives to make a difference in people’s lives by creating and delivering novel medicines. We are a Japan-based Global Specialty Pharmaceutical Company with a long heritage of over 70 years, and use the latest science, including our expertise in antibody research and engineering, to address the needs of patients and society in the therapeutic areas of Nephrology, Oncology, Immunology/Allergy and Neurology.

At Kyowa Kirin, we are passionate about our purpose to make people smile, and are united by our shared values of commitment to life, teamwork/Wa, innovation, and integrity. Our operations span four regions: Japan, Asia Pacific, North America, and EMEA/International.

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