Kiadis Pharma said today it will receive an Innovation Credit of up to €3 million (about $3.9 million) from AgentschapNL, a division of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs. The “credit” or loan will support Phase II clinical development of the company’s lead pipeline product, the blood cancer treatment ATIR™.
The tax credit comes as Kiadis Pharma is conducting a Phase II international multicenter study with ATIR that is designed to confirm and extend earlier Phase I/II results. Those results confirmed ATIR’s safety and proof of concept through the absence of grade III/IV graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD), reduced rates of infection, reduced transplant-related mortality, and high overall survival.
ATIR is designed to enable stem cell transplantations using partially mismatched or haploidentical family members as donors for patients with blood cancer who lack a suitable standard-of-care matched donor. ATIR is intended to be administered as an adjunctive treatment after a haploidentical stem cell transplantation facilitating early immune reconstitution without causing acute GvHD.
The technology used for producing ATIR selectively eliminates T cells in a haploidentical graft that would cause GvHD. According to Kiadis Pharma, the treatment holds the potential to make stem cell transplantations available for all patients worldwide since matching donors are available for only half of patients in need.
ATIR has been granted orphan drug designations both in the U.S. and the E.U., markets with a combined potential of more than €1 billion (approximately $1.3 billion). In these regions, the company said, a combined 20,000 to 25,000 patients annually are unable to find a suitable standard-of-care matched donor.
The Netherlands awards “Innovation Credits”—loans repayable within 10 years at 4% to 10% interest depending on risk profile—to fund the technical or clinical development of a new product, process, or service being developed by companies such as Kiadis Pharma that are based in the country or its island “special munipalities” of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, or Saba.
Smaller companies like Kiadis Pharma can be funded up to 35% of allowable project costs, up to a maximum €5 million (about $6.5 million). To qualify, companies must show that their offerings are technologically innovative and unique to the Netherlands or its territories.