UPDATED: Another biotech that went public in pandemic boom aims to weather the bear market through R&D cutbacks
The bear market is showing no signs of letting up, with a French biotech that IPO’ed during the pandemic boom feeling the heat.
Nanobiotix, a French biotech focusing on new treatments for cancer, is cutting back on preclinical research and amending some of its ongoing studies to stay afloat, the company said in its first quarter report late Wednesday night. The cuts are aimed at prioritizing its lead program for advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, Nanobiotix said.
Though the company reported it was “reducing satellite office facilities,” a Nanobiotix spokesperson told Endpoints News this involves moving hybrid employees to fully remote rather than laying off staff.
“As we continue to see unprecedented deterioration in the capital markets, we are taking proactive steps to adjust our cost structure, reduce spend, and focus our operational activities on building a head and neck franchise,” chairman Laurent Levy said in a statement.
Investors appeared somewhat disturbed by the news, as shares $NBTX were down more than 8% in early Thursday trading.
Nanobiotix is attempting to get its lead program, dubbed NBTXR3 and activated with radiotherapy, in front of regulators relatively soon. FDA has said it would consider an accelerated approval for the candidate, per the biotech’s recounting, and Nanobiotix says it will submit a potential protocol and statistical analysis plan in the first quarter next year.
There are a couple of steps Nanobiotix is planning to ensure it can make the most of its head and neck cancer drug. First and foremost, execs are reducing the amount of preclinical and discovery work they expect to conduct, as well as adapting their manufacturing infrastructure to match the reduced output.
Then there are what Nanobiotix is calling the satellite office reductions. The company spokesperson did not specify known how many offices Nanoiobitx uses, and now won’t be using, nor how many employees work at these facilities.
Lastly, the biotech is amending an ongoing clinical trial for NBTXR3, shortening the follow-up time from 24 to 12 months. Researchers are studying whether the drug in elderly head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients who are ineligible for cisplatin therapy, with final study data expected in the middle of next year.
All the moves represent a significant shift for a biotech that went public during the Covid-19 pandemic boom, pulling in $99 million in a December 2020 IPO. As of Thursday’s opening price of $5.33 per share, the biotech’s stock is down roughly 60% from its debut price of $13.50. And like many other companies suffering the bear market this year, Nanobiotix is down a hefty amount since January: more than 37% in the red for 2022.
This article has been updated to include comment from a Nanobiotix spokesperson.