Applied Molecular Transport Shifts Gear, Cuts Workforce by 40%

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Applied Molecular Transport (AMT) provided a strategy update on Wednesday. Part of the update includes reducing its workforce by approximately 40% and funneling resources into its lead program.

Earlier this month, AMT reported its financial results for the first quarter of 2022, noting a net loss of $42.6 million, more than double its net loss for the same period in 2021. As of March, the company had $126.5 million in cash and cash equivalents, which the company estimated would allow its current operating plan to continue for the next year.

Now, just a few weeks later, the company has announced that it is reducing its workforce by 40% to 81 full-time employees and focusing on the execution of late-stage clinical developments, namely those involving lead candidates AMT-101 and AMT-126.

AMT-101 recently demonstrated positive top-line data in a Phase-II clinical trial for the treatment of chronic pouchitis, a condition denoted by inflammation of a pouch that is created during surgeries to treat ulcerative colitis or other gastrointestinal diseases. The results of the study showed that AMT-101 was well-tolerated through a 12-week treatment period in patients with difficult-to-treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and achieved meaningful responses in stool frequency and histologic healing in two dosage groups. An Independent Data Monitoring Committee recommended advancing to Phase-III trials with the lower dosage tested, and AMT will meet with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulators to determine a path forward.

AMT-101 is also being investigated in two other ongoing Phase-II trials, one of which is a combination trial for patients for moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis. The other two include a monotherapy for ulcerative colitis and a trial investigating its efficacy in rheumatoid arthritis patients in combination with another therapeutic. Results from these trials are anticipated to be shared this year.

AMT-126 is being investigated in Phase-I clinical trials for the treatment of diseases related to defects of the intestinal epithelium barrier. Preclinical data has shown that AMT-126 is able to reduce intestinal inflammation and repair the epithelium barrier. The next steps are currently being evaluated by the company.

The company also stated that it expects to record a one-time charge related to severance in the second quarter of 2022 in a strategic prioritization effort to extend its estimated cash runway into 2024. AMT is putting its resources into AMT-101 to support late-stage clinical advancement and will pause earlier-stage research programs and activities.

AMT also announced a restructuring of its executive cabinet. Shawn Cross was named president and chief operating officer, having previously served as chief financial officer. Brandon Hants will replace Cross as CFO. Co-founder Randy Mrsny, Ph.D., will step down as chief scientific officer. Mrsny was integral to building the company’s technology platform and advancing novel oral biologic therapeutics.

The company also announced in its financial results this quarter that it made investments in and activation of oral biologics GMP manufacturing as part of an integrated new single site that will also include corporate headquarters and research labs in South San Francisco, CA.

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