Context Therapeutics trims pipeline, cuts down on spending to conserve cash
To survive the current market conditions, Philadelphia-based Context Therapeutics has resorted to cost-cutting, a hiring freeze and pipeline pruning.
The company, which develops treatments for breast and gynecological cancers, is hoping that the new measures will help it sustain itself until the end of Q1, 2024.
“We were hoping that things would get better over the course of 2022, however, in our estimation, they’ve gotten more challenging for biotech,” Martin Lehr, CEO of Context Therapeutics, told Endpoints News.
“We have decided to further tighten the belt, prepare in case things get worse,” he added.
The stocks of the company which trade under the ticker $CNTX have dropped nearly 57% since the start of the year.
Going forward, the company’s focus will be on just two of its programs — one in Phase Ib and the other still preclinical.
The ELONA Phase Ib/II trial is studying Context’s drug ONA-XR, an oral progesterone receptor antagonist, in combination with Menarini’s elacestrant in estrogen and progesterone receptor positive HER2- metastatic breast cancer patients who have previously been treated with a CDK4/6 inhibitor.
Menarini, an Italian pharma, entered a deal with Context in August 2022 under which Menarini would supply elacestrant at no cost for the ELONA trial while Context would sponsor it.
Resources allocated to the evaluation of ONA-XR in other cancers such as granulosa cell tumor and recurrent endometrial cancer will be cut back, Lehr said.
Meanwhile, Context’s other priority will lead its CLDN6xCD3 bispecific antibody program to an IND application in Q1 of 2024.
The biotech market’s recent meltdown has forced many companies to implement layoffs, streamline their pipelines and sell their assets.
For instance, last month, mental health-focused biotech Atai Life Sciences stopped funding certain programs and discovery efforts, which the company described as “company-wide cost optimization.”
Bolt Biotherapeutics also put a pause on several of its key programs to conserve its cash reserves by two years.