aTyr abandons manufacturing plans, cuts 19 jobs
aTyr Pharma announced restructuring plans during an investor call yesterday, which revealed a $3.1m (€2.6m) reduction in R&D costs for Q1 2018, compared to the same period last year.
“Research and development expenses were $6.2m and $9.2m for the quarters ended March 31, 2018 and 2017 respectively,” CEO Sanjay Shukla told shareholders.
This is largely due to the completion of clinical studies and lower product manufacturing costs, he added.
But disappointing preclinical results from aTyr Pharma’s immuno-oncology ORCA programme has prompted the firm to "pause" related antibody development.
“The company will no longer be proceeding with IND-enabling activities for the ORCA programme, including GMP manufacturing,” Shukla told investors.
As a result, the firm will cut 30% – or 19 positions – of its workforce across the organisation immediately, including in CMC, manufacturing, and research roles.
aTyr Pharma will also implement “additional cost saving measures” to free up resources for its investigational therapy ATYR1923 for which a Phase I study has been completed.
The candidate is focused on the development of an engineered Resokine protein to treat immune-mediated diseases.
“Our goal will be to prioritise clinical development of our 1923 programme,” said Shukla.
“Looking ahead to the second half of the year, we expect our cash burn from operations to significantly decrease as a result of this restructuring and our programme prioritisation, providing us with an extended cash runway,” he added.