Drug Development

Tokai quickly tosses most of its staff after PhIII cancer drug fails

Tokai Pharmaceuticals’ execs have decided that they can no longer afford most of their staff. Just three days after revealing that their prostate cancer drug galeterone had failed a Phase III study, the biotech says it will cut 60% of its staff and reduce its payroll to the equivalent of 10 full time people.

The biotech $TKAI slammed the brakes on its ARMOR3-SV study after the data monitoring committee concluded that the drug proved to be a dud, effectively shredding Tokai’s business plan.

Boston-based Tokai raised $97 million in an IPO during the go-go days of the biotech boom on Wall Street. The lead study looked to establish a benefit for patients with prostate tumors expressing the AR-V7 splice variant.

By the end of the week Tokai had $43 million in cash and a market cap of $28 million. Its stock was crushed on the news, dropping 70%.

“A reduction in force is a very difficult yet necessary step in light of the recent discontinuation of the ARMOR3-SV trial of galeterone in mCRPC,” said Jodie Morrison, the CEO of Tokai.

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