RARE Daily

Magenta Cuts 84 Percent of Staff, CEO Exits

February 9, 2023

Rare Daily Staff

Magenta said it has laid off 56 people, 84 percent of its workforce, as it continues to explore strategic alternatives ahead of closing its door.

Five members of Magenta’s management team are departing including CEO and President Jason Gardner, Chief Technical Officer David Nichols, Chief Commercial Officer Caren Deardorf, Chief People Officer Kristen Stants, and Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development Shawn Rose. Chief Financial and Operating Officer Steve Mahoney was named President of the company.

At the end of January, Magenta reported a patient death in a clinical trial that it attributed to its conditioning agent MGTS-117 for stem cell transplantation to treat rare blood cancers. Conditioning is a critical component necessary in stem cell transplantation to prepare a patient’s body to receive edited cells, which carry the corrected gene and must engraft in the patient’s bone marrow to be effective.

The patient death came after two patients had recently suffered significant side effects from a high dose of the drug, which resulted in Magenta continuing the trial with a lower dose. After the death, the company halted the trial, and decided to stop further development of its programs to conduct a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives focused on maximizing shareholder value.

As part of its review process, Magenta said it would explore potential strategic alternatives that may include, but are not limited to, an acquisition, merger, business combination, or other transaction. The company did not set a timetable for completion of this review process and said it had $112 million in cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities at the end of December 2022.

Photo: Steve Mahoney, president of Magenta

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