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Exicure Cuts All R&D and Two Thirds of Workforce to Stay in Business

September 27, 2022

Exicure, an early-stage biotechnology company developing nucleic acid therapies targeting ribonucleic acid against validated targets for neurological disorders and hair loss, said it was implementing cost-cutting measures that include a 66 percent workforce reduction and stopping all research and development activities, including for partnered programs.

Photo: Matthias Schroff, CEO at Exicure.

The partnered programs, part of an exclusive collaboration agreement with Ipsen signed in August 2021 to research, develop, and commercialize novel Spherical Nucleic Acids (SNAs), include potential investigational treatments for Huntington’s disease and Angelman syndrome.

At the same time, upon satisfaction of certain closing conditions including approval by Exicure stockholders, existing investor CBI USA will purchase 3.4 million shares of Exicure’s common stock for $5.4 million and obtain a controlling stake in the company.

After a strategic review of the company’s business plans and objectives and its existing cash resources, Exicure’s board of directors said it will also explore divesture opportunities for its pipeline assets, including its lead preclinical candidate for neuropathic pain. The executive

team is expected to remain in place following the restructuring and realignment.

Exicure estimates that it will incur total expenses relating to the restructuring of approximately $500,000, consisting of severance and termination-related costs and expects to record a significant portion of these charges in the third quarter of 2022. The restructuring plan is expected to extend the company’s cash runway into the second quarter of 2023 based on current operating plans and estimates.

Results from a recent in vivo animal study of Exicure’s lead candidate SCN9A for neuropathic pain did not meet the desired target engagement levels in non-human primates as was observed in previous in vitro preclinical studies and additional preclinical studies would be required to understand recent findings, likely delaying the timing of IND-enabling work. As a result, Exicure has suspended further preclinical activities for the SCN9A program as it assesses strategic alternatives for all its assets, including its platform technology, with the goal of maximizing stockholder value.

“These decisions are never easy, and we understand the impact they have on all our stakeholders and stockholders, including our loyal Exicure employees,” said Matthias Schroff, CEO at Exicure.

Author: Rare Daily Staff

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