RARE Daily

Editas Cuts 20 Percent of Staff in Reprioritization of Pipeline to Extend Cash Runway

January 9, 2023

Gene editing biotech Editas Medicine said it has reprioritized its portfolio and realigned its research and development programs to narrow the focus on hemoglobinopathies and in vivo discovery, as the company pursues and develops programs it believes have maximum probabilities of technical, regulatory, and commercial success.

Photo: Gilmore O’Neill, president and CEO at Editas Medicine

As a result of the strategic reprioritization, Editas Medicine’s headcount is being reduced by approximately 20 percent, which is expected to extend the company’s cash runway into 2025.

The strategic changes include prioritizing resource allocation towards EDIT-301, it’s lead clinical program for the treatment of severe sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia, and discontinuing internal investments in the inherited retinal disease (IRD) programs, including EDIT-101 for Leber Congenital Amaurosis 10 (LCA10) and EDIT-103 for rhodopsin-associated autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RHO-adRP). Editas Medicine will seek partnerships for further development of its IRD programs.

Editas will discontinue internal investments in its wholly owned multiplexed edited induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived natural killer (iNK) cell programs, including EDIT-202 for solid tumors and will seek a partnership to continue development of the iNK franchise.

Editas also said it will restructure its research organization into two divisions: Drug Discovery for in vivo target identification, therapeutic asset creation, and translational research, and Advanced Technology for in vivo targeted integration and targeted delivery.

The company will also continue to look for collaboration opportunities to license its intellectual property and proprietary technology.

“I strongly believe that refocusing our business around hemoglobinopathies and in vivo gene editing will best position the company to pursue our mission to deliver revolutionary medicines for people living with serious diseases,” said Gilmore O’Neill, president and CEO at Editas Medicine. “Though this includes making very difficult decisions, we believe more patients will ultimately benefit from our refined discovery and development efforts, our enhanced clinical execution, and, most importantly, from our ability to bring these transformative medicines to the market.”

In connection with the reprioritization of Editas Medicine’s portfolio, Editas Chief Scientific Officer Mark Shearman will step down from his role and depart the company, effective March 31, 2023.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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