Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 8, 2016 – Kiadis Pharma N.V. (“Kiadis Pharma” or the “Company”) (Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels: KDS), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative T-cell immunotherapy treatments for blood cancers and inherited blood disorders, today announces that Arthur Lahr will join Kiadis Pharma on January 1, 2017 as Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) designate. The search for a COO and CEO designate has been co-led by the Company’s CEO, Manfred Rüdiger, and the Company’s Supervisory Board. Following five years as CEO, and as the Company is advancing into a late stage clinical/pre-commercialization phase, Dr. Rüdiger will hand over his responsibilities as CEO on April 1, 2017 as part of a planned and thoroughly executed succession plan.
Manfred Rüdiger said: “My decision to step down from Kiadis Pharma next year is taken because I want to spend more time with my family, who are all living outside of The Netherlands. I am very proud of what my team has achieved during my five years at Kiadis Pharma and feel that the Company is in strong health moving into a new phase and thus now is a decent time to depart. I am pleased that Arthur Lahr has taken the decision to join the Company and I am very confident that he is ideally positioned to take Kiadis Pharma forward into its next phase of development.”
Manfred Rüdiger joined Kiadis Pharma in 2011 and has since then redirected its development into a late stage clinical/pre-commercialization company which will initiate a pivotal Phase III transatlantic trial imminently. Dr. Rüdiger also guided the Company through various financings leading to the Company’s IPO on Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels in 2015, raising EUR 34.7 million.
Arthur Lahr joins Kiadis Pharma with significant experience from within the healthcare sector. Most notably, Mr. Lahr was Chief Strategy Officer and member of the Management Committee at Crucell from 2001 until its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson for USD 2.4 billion in 2011. At Crucell, a Euronext and NASDAQ listed fully integrated global vaccine company with USD 500 million in sales, Mr. Lahr held varying responsibilities including for business development, strategy, M&A, US and EU marketing & sales, and the fully integrated protein business unit. Prior to that, Mr. Lahr was a Consultant at McKinsey & Company between 1994 and 2001 in Amsterdam and New York. He began his career as an Engineer at Unilever and has an MSc in Applied Physics from the University of Delft and an MBA from INSEAD.
Mark Wegter, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented: “Manfred has done a tremendous job over the past five years developing Kiadis Pharma into a pre-commercialization biopharmaceutical company that remains firmly on course to file for marketing authorization with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for ATIR101™ in blood cancers in Q1 2017. The listing on Euronext in 2015 would not have happened without the leadership and dedication of Manfred. I have worked very closely with Manfred over many years and now know him as a great person who has done a phenomenal job. On behalf of the Supervisory Board and all of the Company’s employees, I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for all his hard work and accomplishments for Kiadis Pharma. The Supervisory Board looks forward to working with Arthur in a similar fashion as we prepare to initiate the pivotal Phase III trial for ATIR101™. Arthur has very relevant experience in R&D, business development and commercialization of biopharmaceuticals and is ideally positioned to strengthen the management team as COO and CEO designate. The period until Manfred’s official departure as per April 1, 2017 will allow him to hand over in a seamless way.”
Arthur Lahr, incoming COO and CEO designate, said: “I am very pleased to join Kiadis Pharma at this important time in its evolution. Under Manfred’s strong leadership the Company has made tremendous progress, and the potential of the promising ATIR product portfolio is significant. I enter Kiadis Pharma with great excitement and look forward to working closely with Manfred and the team to take the Company into its next stage of development, and foremost to make a real difference for patients.”
About Kiadis Pharma
Kiadis Pharma is focused on cell-based immunotherapy products for the treatment of blood cancers and inherited blood disorders. The Company’s products have the potential to address the risks and limitations connected with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), namely Graft-versus-Host-Disease (GVHD), cancer relapse, opportunistic infections and limited matched donor availability. The Company believes that HSCT could become a first-choice treatment for blood cancers, inherited blood disorders and possibly autoimmune diseases and solid organ transplantations.
On December 5, 2016 at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the Company reported positive Phase II results with its lead product ATIR101™ in patients with blood cancer. The data showed that ATIR101™ significantly reduced Transplant Related Mortality and significantly improved Overall Survival. In addition, ATIR101™ did not elicit grade III-IV GVHD in any patient. ATIR101™ has been granted Orphan Drug Designations both in the US and Europe. The Company’s second product candidate, ATIR201™, addresses inherited blood disorders with an initial focus on thalassemia, a disease which results in destruction of red blood cells in patients. ATIR201™ is expected to enter Phase I/II clinical development in the second half of 2016.
Kiadis Pharma, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, was granted an Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product (ATMP) certificate for manufacturing quality and non-clinical data by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Company’s shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Euronext Brussels.
Manfred Rüdiger, CEO
1114 AA Amsterdam-Duivendrecht
Tel. +31 20 314 02 50
International Media and Investor Contact:
Mary-Jane Elliott, Lindsey Neville, Hendrik Thys
Consilium Strategic Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 203 709 5708
Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements, beliefs and opinions in this press release are forward-looking, which reflect Kiadis Pharma’s or, as appropriate, Kiadis Pharma’s directors’ current expectations and projections about future events. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These risks, uncertainties and assumptions could adversely affect the outcome and financial effects of the plans and events described herein. A multitude of factors including, but not limited to, changes in demand, competition and technology, can cause actual events, performance or results to differ significantly from any anticipated development. Forward looking statements contained in this press release regarding past trends or activities should not be taken as a representation that such trends or activities will continue in the future. As a result, Kiadis Pharma expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release any update or revisions to any forward-looking statements in this press release as a result of any change in expectations or any change in events, conditions, assumptions or circumstances on which these forward-looking statements are based. Neither Kiadis Pharma nor its advisers or representatives nor any of its subsidiary undertakings or any such person’s officers or employees guarantees that the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements are free from errors nor does either accept any responsibility for the future accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained in this press release or the actual occurrence of the forecasted developments. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release.