Prelude Therapeutics to add 49 jobs, invest $5M

WILMINGTON – Prelude Therapeutics announced Monday, Oct. 28, that it will expand in Delaware, adding up to 49 biotech positions by 2022 and investing $5 million in expanded lab and office space in the Wilmington area.

Prelude, a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, conducts research focused on key drivers of cancer cell growth, survival, and resistance. They currently have two clinical trials in progress, with more pre-clinical development candidates in the pipeline. 

The company is outgrowing its current locations, split between the Delaware Innovation Space located on the site of the former DuPont Experimental Station in Wilmington as well as nearby overflow office space.

Prelude Therapeutics CEO Kris Vaddi

To support Prelude’s local growth, the Council on Development Finance recently approved a performance grant of $684,090 and a capital expenditure grant of $150,000 for a total of up to $834,090. Both would come from the Delaware Strategic Fund and both are contingent on Prelude meeting its hiring goals.

It is the second round of CDF grant awarded to Prelude after it received one in 2018 for about $474,000 to add positions and relocate from the STAR Campus in Newark. It fulfilled the hiring goals in that grant when it reached 32 employees.

“We’re really pleased to support the expansion of Prelude – one of Delaware’s most exciting and innovative start-ups,” Gov. John Carney said in a prepared statement. “Prelude’s decision to expand in Delaware reaffirms that our state is a great place for business of all sizes to put down roots, grow and create good-paying jobs.”

With the additional job growth, Prelude’s team will expand to a projected total of 81 employees by 2022, officials reported. The new positions include professional scientists and skilled associates, who will add approximately $5.5 million to its annual payroll.

Prelude Therapeutics CEO Kris Vaddi founded the company in 2016 and it has since drawn international attention for its work and attracted top pharmaceutical and biotech talent to Delaware.

Vaddi said that his company appreciated the support of the state.

“The Wilmington area provides an attractive location for hiring experienced and talented scientific, clinical and operational teams needed to build a successful biopharmaceutical company. We look forward to executing our drug discovery and development strategy to drive growth within the company over the coming years,” he said in a statement.

In June, Prelude announced that it had secured $60 million in Series B funding. To date it has secured a total investment of a reported $95 million after starting with $5 million in start-up funds.

Prior to founding Prelude, Vaddi was an executive of Incyte Corporation and initiated the research programs that led to the discovery of the billion-dollar-a-year drug Jakafi, which fights blood marrow cancer.

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