Hoping to brake a slow crash, Aduro's Stephen Isaacs hits the reset button, axing staff in reorganization
With investor confidence steadily bleeding out over the last year, Aduro $ADRO CEO Stephen Isaacs has hit the reset button in an attempt to get back on track.
The biotech said this morning that it is whacking 37% of the staff and circling its wagons around lead programs partnered with 2 prominent big pharmas — Novartis and Eli Lilly — focused on STING. The biotech is also pursuing an in-house anti-APRIL antibody, in development in oncology and IgA nephropathy.
How many staffers is that? We don’t know exactly, but when Aduro filed its 10-K for 2017 it had 162 full-time employees.
Interested in picking up some shelved assets cheap? You should call Isaacs, who had this to say about the programs being pushed aside in the reorganization:
The strategic reset will also allow us to explore new partnership opportunities for our deprioritized programs, including pLADD, ADU-1604 (anti-CTLA-4) and ADU-1805 (anti-SIRPα). While this was a difficult decision, I want to thank the employees who are leaving for their contributions to Aduro.
Aduro biotech has seen its market cap shrink to less than its cash reserves on a drumbeat of setbacks.
The ended 2018 with $278 million in reserves, then added a $12 million upfront in January from Eli Lilly for their deal. The market cap, meanwhile, was under $200 million before the market open.
Aduro went public close to 4 years ago at $17 a share, touting a pair of cancer vaccines and an oncology pipeline, then saw the stock price to $40 soon after. After that, things got rough — but very slowly.
A warmed up cancer vaccine — GVAX, one of the initial wave — was a bust. Late in 2017 their other cancer vaccine CRS-207, reengineered Listeria monocytogenes, hit the wall after a long and troubled development program, forcing Isaacs to wash his hands of the effort.
Yesterday Aduro’s stock closed at $2.47.
Image: Stephen Isaacs. BERKELEY via YOUTUBE