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DE222 Honoree: Kris Vaddi

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Title: Founder and CEO

Workplace: Prelude Therapeutics

Kris Vaddi

Alma Maters: Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University, University of Florida

Boards: Acellus Health, University of Delaware’s Research Foundation and Biopharmaceutical Innovation

Q&A: What’s something interesting about you that isn’t on your resume? “My love for movies and interest in making one someday (ideally Bollywood).

Kris Vaddi spent 14 years at Incyte where he helped develop one of its most important drugs, Jakafi. After two decades in the biopharmaceutical industry though, he wanted to return to the grassroots innovation of a startup, and left to found Prelude Therapeutics in 2016. The company has drawn increasing international attention for its work on small molecule inhibitors, a developing therapy that is more targeted in approach with fewer side effects than traditional cancer therapies like chemotherapy or radiation. Prelude is working on treatments for blood, brain, and lymph node cancers. The promise of Preludeโ€™s work drove it to become the newest publicly traded company to IPO from Delaware, raising hundreds of millions of dollars from investors since 2020, and it is now planning to open a new headquarters and research lab at the Chestnut Run Innovation & Science Park.

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