Axovant-turned-Sio ditches two remaining programs | ABUS Message Board Posts


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Msg  35166 of 35171  at  4/28/2022 9:06:50 AM  by

Steve_382


Axovant-turned-Sio ditches two remaining programs

 
 
 
Axovant-turned-Sio ditches two remaining programs, lays off most employees and will seek a buyer
Kyle LaHucik
Associate Editor
A year and a half ago, Sio Gene Therapies attempted to steer into a new history, with then-CEO Pavan Cheruvu telling Endpoints News it was “not a vant any longer” after breaking away from the Axovant name, of the Roivant descent.

The company might be getting a rebrand again soon. That is: Sio is looking for a new owner, or another company to merge with as the biotech is shuttering work on its two remaining programs, for GM1 and GM2 gangliosidosis, or Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease. SVB Securities will help the company find a new path forward.

Sio’s stock $SIOX deflated nearly 38% before the opening bell on Thursday, sending the company’s shares to under half a dollar apiece. The company’s $44 million market cap is below its cash on hand, which stood at $64 million as of March 31. That figure was $81.9 million as of Dec. 31, 2021.

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Axovant-turned-Sio ditches two remaining programs, lays off most employees and will seek a buyer
Biotech bear market woes are hampering the company once again, as it appears nearly all the employees are being let go. A company spokesperson declined to disclose how many Sio workers were affected, referring to a Wednesday press release saying the company will undergo a “significant headcount reduction” by June.

The company also terminated its licensing agreements for GM1 and GM2 gene therapies with the University of Massachusetts. That means the company’s two Phase I/II trials are coming to an end.


David Nassif
“We will support our study investigators as they complete ongoing clinical activities and continue supplying study drug to patients during the notice period. We are immensely grateful for the support from the GM1, Tay-Sachs and Sandhoff disease communities and are honored to have worked with such amazing patients, families and physicians over the last few years,” CEO David Nassif said in the press release.

The biotech took a nosedive earlier this year when Cheruvu left just as it ditched a Parkinson’s gene therapy and put a stop to its Oxford Biomedica partnership.

Axovant's lead Alzheimer's drug flops in PhIII, ending an unlikely quest
Years prior, the company had failed on an Alzheimer’s asset, a drug acquired by GlaxoSmithKline for a couple million dollars. The news wiped away $1.8 billion from Axovant’s market cap at the time.

The company was founded in 2014 by Roivant founder Vivek Ramaswamy. Axovant went through an IPO on that Alzheimer’s pitch in 2015.

Roivant still held approximately one-quarter of Sio’s shares of common stock outstanding as of Feb. 8, according to an SEC filing.

The news comes the same day another gene therapy developer, Solid Bio, would lay off 35% of its staff. Other gene therapy biotechs to conduct layoffs in recent weeks include Taysha, bluebird bio and others.
 


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