After back-to-back trial flops, Realm slashes its staff, halts research work and ponders a fire sale

Just days after reporting its second mid-stage trial failure in 5 months, little Realm Therapeutics $RLM is throwing in the towel.

The Phase II failure in atopic dermatitis — a crowded field which includes some notable giants — came on the heels of scrapping its Phase II program for PR013, a topical ophthalmic solution for the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis.

Alex Martin

It was all too much for the investors at the Malvern, PA biotech to swallow. Monday morning the biotech put out the word that it is abandoning all clinical trial work and putting itself up for sale, slashing its staff roster in the process. 

The corporate update says anything is possible now, including a potential re-start with a new program. Otherwise, any interested buyers looking for a public company shell are invited to kick the tires.

Realm had about $21 million in cash and equivalents at the end of August. The company was also working on RLM023 for acne as well as another psoriasis study for PR022.

OrbiMed, BVF Partners, RA Capital Management, Abingworth BioEquities Master Fund and Polar Capital all contributed to the last round for Realm, which was initially called PuriCore ahead of a reorganization in 2016.

“A full analysis of our atopic dermatitis study results showed a statistically significant efficacy signal in a sub-population treated with the higher dose formulation. However, the overall study results did not meet our threshold for continued investment and, as such, we have decided to discontinue all of our drug development programs, which are all based on the company’s proprietary technology,” said Alex Martin, CEO of Realm Therapeutics.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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