Delaware's Council on Development Finance has voted a $474,491 grant to Prelude Therapeutics, the latest company founded by Dr. Krishna Vaddi, whose previous cancer drug development company, Incyte, is now one of the state's largest public companies.
Prelude, another cancer drug "discovery-based biotech company" that employs around 12 at the University of Delaware's Star Campus (the old Chrysler plant site), plans to employ 32 by 2020 as a condition of the grant, and is seeking a larger Delaware location, the council says. The company was founded in July 2016.
"Dr. Vaddi has a proven track record of growing a biotech company here in Delaware," said Cerron Cade, director of Delaware's Division of Small Business, Development, and Tourism, which administers the grants. "In the biotech industry, there is pressure to take start-ups to a place like Massachusetts." Subsidizing Prelude to keep it home "is a sign the state is a player in this space."
"It demonstrates to people who are here and may join the company that the state is supportive," Vaddi said in a statement. "There's more than just financial resources here. There is an economic and research ecosystem that we want to be a part of. It's a close-knit community, where people take pride in the success of the companies that are founded here."
The Prelude grant is among the first that Delaware has handed out since reorganizing its business subsidy efforts under Gov. John Carney. Other recent grants went to Sallie Mae, the private student lender; General Refrigeration; and serving as a financial conduit (no grant) for bonds issued and paid by Independence School, one of a number of Delaware private schools that has lost students as the state increased support of taxpayer-funded charter schools under Carney's predecessor, Gov. Jack Markell.