As SQZ faced a fi­nal reck­on­ing, a fate­ful board de­ci­sion steered the com­pa­ny to a quick and bru­tal endgame

A decade af­ter SQZ was birthed amid con­sid­er­able en­thu­si­asm and mid­wifed by one of the biggest sci­en­tif­ic stars in Cam­bridge, MA, the few sur­vivors of its col­lapse are wav­ing a white flag of sur­ren­der.

On Tues­day, in­vestors got word that Roche had for­mal­ly bowed out of its al­liance with SQZ on the lead pro­gram, leav­ing the dwin­dling team — led by ex­ecs hand­ed re­tain­er bonus­es a month ago — to work on any kind of deals they could find. That’s a com­mon sight these days in biotech, as the sort­ing of sur­vivors and buri­als con­tin­ues to of­fer some fi­nal ac­count­ing of once-grand am­bi­tions.

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