Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Boston, Massachusetts, USA – February 4, 2019 – Kiadis Pharma N.V. (“Kiadis” or the “Company”) (Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels: KDS), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announces the appointment of Robert Friesen, PhD as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) effective February 1, 2019. Dr. Friesen will lead the Company’s science, discovery and pre-clinical development activities and will be instrumental in building the Company’s scientific platform and identifying other programs for potential in-license. Dr. Friesen will report to Kiadis CEO Arthur Lahr and will be a member of the Company’s management team.
Dr. Friesen has more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, leading multiple Research and Development (R&D) organisations. Dr. Friesen joins Kiadis from Ablynx where he was CSO until its acquisition by Sanofi. At Ablynx, Dr. Friesen oversaw a team of more than 300 people who were responsible for more than 40 development-stage product candidates across a wide range of diseases. Prior to Sanofi, he served as Senior Vice President of ProQR Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company, heading the Science and Early Development division. Prior to joining ProQR Therapeutics, Dr. Friesen worked at Janssen BioTherapeutics, a Johnson & Johnson Company as Global Head of Biologics Research, where he established an R&D organisation of more than 200 scientists and professionals located in Europe and US; and at the Crucell Vaccine Institute, a Johnson & Johnson Company, as Vice President Preclinical and Clinical Research where he led the team responsible for discovery, production and preclinical development of monoclonal antibodies. Before Crucell Vaccine Institute, he was Head of Preclinical & Early Clinical Development at MorphoSys.
Dr. Friesen has authored a significant number of high-impact peer-reviewed scientific publications, with broad expertise in multiple areas of human health, including oncology, immunotherapy, and infectious diseases. Dr. Friesen holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Texas and performed postdoctoral research at the University of Groningen.
Commenting on the appointment, Arthur Lahr, CEO of Kiadis Pharma, said: “I am delighted to welcome Robert to Kiadis. His outstanding scientific track record and experience in innovative drug development will add further depth and breadth to Kiadis as we progress the development of ATIR101 through phase 3 clinical trials.”
Robert Friesen, Chief Scientific Officer, Kiadis, said: “I am very pleased to join Kiadis Pharma at this exciting stage as the Company approaches the potential approval of its lead product candidate, ATIR101, in the EU. I look forward to working with this dynamic and talented team to build and maximise the potential of our pipeline.”
For more information, please contact:
Amy Sullivan, SVP, Corporate Affairs
Tel. +1 508 479 3480
Optimum Strategic Communications:
Mary Clark, Supriya Mathur, Hollie Vile
Tel: +44 203 714 1787
David Brilleslijper (Amsterdam)
Tel: +31 610 942 514
About Kiadis Pharma
Kiadis Pharma is developing its lead product candidate, ATIR101, for use in conjunction with haploidentical HSCT for adult blood cancers to address key limitations of haploidentical HSCT, without prophylactic immunosuppression and its associated morbidity and mortality. Based on the positive results from the single dose Phase II CR-AIR-007 study, the Company submitted a marketing authorization application to the European Medicines Agency in April 2017 for approval of ATIR101 as an adjunctive treatment in haploidentical HSCT for high risk adult hematological malignancies. If the product is conditionally approved, Kiadis Pharma intends to launch ATIR101 in selected countries in Europe through its own commercial organization starting in the second half of 2019.
In December 2017, Kiadis Pharma commenced an international, multicenter, randomized and controlled Phase III clinical trial of ATIR101 against the Post-Transplant Cyclophosphamide, or PTCy protocol, the main protocol used to perform a haploidentical HSCT. The trial will be performed in 250 patients with acute leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome at approximately 50 sites in the United States, Canada, Europe and certain additional countries. ATIR101 received regenerative medicine advanced therapy designation from the FDA in September 2017, which provides benefits that are materially equivalent to a breakthrough designation from the FDA. In addition, ATIR101 has been granted multiple orphan Dr.ug designations both in the European Union and the United States.
The Company’s shares are listed on Euronext Amsterdam and Brussels under the ticker KDS.
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.