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.”