Restructuring, Workforce

Counting its remaining cash, Vical axes 40 staffers and circles wagons around two Phase II assets

Just days after Vical $VICL and its partners at Astellas announced that their late-stage study of the CMV vaccine ASP0113 had failed badly, the San Diego-based biotech is axing more than half of its staff and circling the wagons around its remaining clinical-stage assets.

Vijay Samant, CEO Vical

Vijay Samant

The biotech reports that it is laying off 40 out of 74 staffers in the painful restructuring, which comes a little more than a week after the trial flop. All the remaining efforts around ASP0113 are being terminated as well. Vical execs say they should have enough cash in the bank to pay for development work through 2019.

The focus now is on completing its Phase II HSV-2 clinical trial while kickstarting its mid-stage study for the anti fungal drug VL-2397 in Q1.

The biotech said it had $60 million to $65 million in cash and investments at the end of 2017.

“We have carefully evaluated our organization and priorities and are restructuring to extend our cash runway to ensure that our promising HSV-2 vaccine candidate and VL-2397 antifungal drug product candidate is adequately resourced to maximize shareholder value,” said Vical CEO Vijay Samant in a statement.


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