RARE Daily

Three More Rare Disease Focused Biotechs Join Queue of Biotech Restructurings

April 28, 2022

Marie Daghlian

As biotech stocks continue to be hammered on Wall Street, access to capital—the lifeblood of biotech—has become increasingly constrained. In this milieu, three rare disease therapeutics companies said they are restructuring—reducing their workforce and pipeline programs.

The list, which now tops more than 40 companies since the fall of 2021, according to an analysis by LifeSciVC and Global Genes, includes 13 companies that are developing drugs for rare diseases, with Sio Gene Therapies, Swan Bio, and BridgeBio just added to the growing list rare disease focused companies restructuring to preserve cash (see below).

In a corporate update, Sio Gene Therapies said it was terminating its licensing agreement with the University of Massachusetts and stopping development of two candidates for the treatment of GM1 and  GM2 gangliosidosis and exploring options for selling or merging the company.

“After a thorough review of our ongoing programs, and given the current public financing environment, we have decided to terminate our GM1 and GM2 licensing agreements with UMass and wind down our related clinical trials and manufacturing operations,” said David Nassif, CEO of Sio. “We are exploring strategic options that may more effectively maximize shareholder value and, as a result, we are also implementing a significant headcount reduction to conserve capital. We will support our study investigators as they complete ongoing clinical activities and continue supplying study drug to patients during the notice period.”

Endpoints News broke the story on layoffs at privately-held SwanBio Therapeutics, which reported that the company laid off one quarter of its 60 person workforce as it was unable to secure additional funding. The company plans to start a phase 1/2 clinical trial of its lead AAV-based gene therapy for adrenomyeloneuropathy.

Finally, as reported by both Endpoints News and Fierce Biotech, but not yet disclosed by the company, BridgeBio’s chief strategy officer is leaving and the company is planning a second round of layoffs, with a company spokesperson telling Fierce in an email that they were the result of current market conditions.

Rare Disease Company Restructurings in 2022 
CompanyDate Announced
Ovid Therapeutics3/15/2022
Passage Bio3/15/2022
Orchard Therapeutics3/31/2022
Taysha Gene Therapies4/1/2022
Bluebird bio4/5/2022
Akcea (Ionis)4/7/2022
Magenta Therapeutics4/14/2022
Solid Biosciences4/27/2022
SwanBio Therapeutics (not formally announced)4/28/2022
Bridgebio (not formally announced)4/28/2022

Stay Connected

Sign up for updates straight to your inbox.