Reeling Ophthotech eviscerates staff, laying off up to 135; Booming Regeneron adds more space

Four days after Ophthotech stock $OPHT cratered in the wake of a Phase III debacle for its wet, age-related macular degeneration drug Fovista, the biotech’s back with a restructuring plan that includes laying off up to 135 staffers and terminating much of the clinical trial work now underway. The second 12-month stage of the Fovista Phase III has been terminated, along with its clinical work combining Fovista with anti-VEGF drugs in its expansion trials. It will continue a late-stage study combining Fovista with Eylea or Avastin. When the restructuring is over, the New York-based biotech will have a staff of only 20 to 30 employees.

A booming Regeneron $REGN has snapped up an office building and 76-acre site in Westchester for its fast-growing operations. The biotech, closely allied with Sanofi, has been adding staff as it grows its portfolio of approved drugs.

Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development is funding a Phase Ia and Phase Ib clinical trial for a drug called BT1718, a drug conjugate being developed by Bicycle Therapeutics, in patients with advanced solid tumours. BT1718 targets Membrane Type 1 Matrix Metalloproteinase, which is expressed in many solid tumors, including triple negative breast cancer and non-small cell lung cancer.

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