Houston Bioscience Company Considering Move to San Antonio

By Iris Gonzalez

Houston-based bioscience company Kiromic Inc. is evaluating plans to move its headquarters and business operations to San Antonio, pending local incentive approvals.

Founded in 2012, Kiromic is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing the next generation of immunotherapy treatments for cancer and other diseases. The company is currently raising $12 million through a Series A round of financing. As part of the proposed relocation, the company plans to create at least 20 jobs in San Antonio, continue drug research and development, establish drug manufacturing and complete Phase I/II clinical trials for some initial cancer drugs.

The company has been considering the move for several months. Its senior leadership, company president Scott Dahlbeck and chief executive officer Maurizio, ‘Mark’ Internati attended the VelocityTX Emerging Ventures Pipeline earlier in May.

“Kiromic is an innovative biotechnology company, and we are thrilled they are considering moving their headquarters, manufacturing, and research and development activities from Houston to San Antonio,” stated San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg in a press release. “Kiromic will be a great addition to our growing portfolio of local companies developing cancer drugs and treatments, positioning San Antonio as a leader in this critical bioscience sector.”

San Antonio City Council will vote May 31 on the San Antonio Economic Development Corporation (SAEDC) economic development project with Kiromic, with economic incentive package in the amount of $200,000. The SAEDC Board approved the project on May 23 and authorized Executive Director Ed Davis to seek approval from City Council for the project.

“The City, the SAEDC and our community partners have worked diligently to recruit Kiromic to San Antonio,” stated City Manager Sheryl Sculley. “We are confident the SAEDC offer of funding will convince Kiromic to relocate and establish its headquarters and business operations in San Antonio while also providing the SAEDC equity in the company.”

Kiromic has been courted by San Antonio City and County officials for months as the company leadership considered its options in moving from its home base of Houston.

“Kiromic is certainly impressed by what the San Antonio community has to offer our bioscience company, particularly a collaborative ecosystem to continue our research, manufacturing and clinical trials” stated Maurizio Chiriva Internati, CEO of Kiromic. “We are already conducting part of our Phase I clinical trials in San Antonio and in evaluating potential cities to locate our headquarters, we believe San Antonio presents the best opportunity for our company to succeed in bringing revolutionary immunotherapy drugs to market.”

If City Council approves the project, the SAEDC will enter into an Economic Development Agreement in the amount of $200,000 with Kiromic. In exchange the bioscience company would agree to relocate its headquarters and business operations to San Antonio in 2018, remain in San Antonio for at least five years, and create and retain up to 20 high-jobs during the term of the Agreement.  For helping fund the company’s relocation, the SAEDC will also receive $200,000 in Kiromic Series A Preferred Shares.

The company plans to make a relocation decision in the next 60-90 days and complete the relocation of its headquarters and operations from Houston by the end of this year.

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