Reports: Neuro-Focused Faze Medicines to Shutter Operations

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Third Rock-founded Faze Medicines appears to be shuttering operations, according to a report from the STAT News, with several former employees signaling they are looking for new jobs.

Faze is focused on neurodegenerative disorders like ALS and muscular dystrophy.

On LinkedIn, former employees indicated they were searching for new jobs. In a few posts, some alluded to Faze "winding down" or having been let go due to the company's closing.

The layoffs appear to have been large-scale, affecting everyone from talent and workplace experience coordinators to computational biologists and senior scientists.

BioSpace reached out to Faze, Third Rock Ventures and Casdin Capital and will update this story accordingly. 

A Third Rock spokesperson told BioSpace "the science did not progress sufficiently to meet our bar for further investment."

Third Rock was fully supportive of Faze's leadership's decision to wind the business down, the spokesperson added.

Faze launched in December 2020, powered by $81 million in Series A financing. At the time, the company was at the leading edge of cell therapeutics and neuroscience, touting biomolecular condensates as a new modality to slow, halt or even reverse disease course. 

Throwing its support behind the Cambridge, MA-based biotech was Third Rock, which led the Series A. Several of the industry's heaviest hitters also bought in to Faze's science, including Novartis Venture Fund, Eli Lilly and Company, Casdin Capital and AbbVie Ventures.

Biomolecular condensates are what the company calls "membraneless organelles," which can be characterized as clusters of proteins or nucleic acids that dynamically form and disperse inside cells in response to external stimuli such as stress or signaling. 

Research from J. Paul Taylor, M.D., Ph.D., one of Faze's cofounders, points to biomolecular condensates' potential causal role in neurodegenerative diseases. In ALS, for instance, pathological mutations have been linked with dysfunctional assembly and behavior of a condensate known as the stress granule. 

Meanwhile, another type of condensate, called nuclear RNA foci, has been implicated in myotonic dystrophy. In excess, these foci trap essential proteins, preventing them from carrying out their functions.

Faze is only the latest company to succumb to this year's aggressively bear biotech market. On Wednesday, Colorado cancer player Clovis Oncology warned it might be facing bankruptcy in a 10-Q filing with the SEC.

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