Beam Announces Portfolio Prioritization, Cutting 20 Percent of Workforce
October 19, 2023
Rare Daily Staff
Base editing therapy developer Beam Therapeutics said it has embarked on a pipeline prioritization plan to streamline its business operations to support potential near-term value drivers and long-term growth.
The cost reduction initiatives, which include a 20 percent reduction in its workforce, are expected to extend its revised operating plan into 2026.
“From the beginning, Beam’s strategy has been to develop base editing technology broadly across a diverse portfolio of programs and delivery modalities, and our science and pipeline continue to progress across the board,” said John Evans, CEO of Beam. “In this challenging market environment, however, we need to make the difficult decision to focus our resources on those clinical programs and research areas we believe have the highest potential for near-term value creation, while continuing to build a strong company for the future.”
Under the new plan, Beam will prioritize development of its ex vivo and in vivo sickle cell disease programs BEAM-101 and ESCAPE for sickle cell disease, and BEAM-302 in vivo base editor, for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, to provide the foundation for meaningful value creation.
The company said it will also conduct an initial BEAM-301 clinical trial for the treatment of glycogen storage disease 1a (GSD1a) at a select number of sites in the United States.
Beam said it will explore partnership opportunities for continued development of BEAM-201 for the treatment of T-ALL and seek potential partnership for this and other potential ex vivo CAR-T programs, including Beam’s ongoing research into creating next-generation allogeneic cell therapies with multiplex base editing.
The company will focus near-term research and platform investments on specific applications leveraging Beam’s in vivo editing capabilities in the liver targeting both rare genetic and common disorders, as well as select opportunities in hematology and immunology/oncology. The company’s hepatitis B virus program will be paused and designated for partnering given the requirement of specialized development and commercial capabilities.
In alignment with its portfolio prioritization, plans a reduction in headcount of approximately 100 employees, about 20 percent of its current workforce, which is anticipated to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Related to the workforce reduction, Beam expects to incur one-time costs of approximately $6.6 million, of which nearly all are cash expenditures related to severance and are anticipated to be incurred in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Photo: John Evans, CEO of Beam
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