InVivo Therapeutics Slashes 39% of Jobs and Cuts Two R&D Programs in Restructuring
Published: Aug 29, 2017
August 29, 2017
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Despite a temporary halt of an experimental spinal cord implant trial following a patient death, InVivo Therapeutics is doubling down and focusing its financial resources on the treatment by initiating a strategic restructuring that includes cutting nearly 40 percent of its workforce.
In an announcement this morning, the company said the restructuring will allow the company to concentrate its efforts on reopening patient enrollment of the Inspire trial and carrying it through completion. The trial is focused on InVivo’s experimental Neuro-Spinal Scaffold. The biodegradable device is surgically implanted in patients who are dealing with a complete thoracic AIS A spinal cord injury. There are 16 trial patients in follow-up, the company said.
Last month one patient who had the implant died unexpectedly, but it was determined that the patient’s death was unrelated to the implant or procedure. That was the third death in the Inspire trial, however each death has been determined to be unrelated to the spinal implant or the surgical procedure used to install the device.
By concentrating on the Inspire trial, InVivo said this morning that it was suspending its chronic SCI stem cell and gene therapy research programs and is also halting its Canadian cervical study of the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold. InVivo said it is evaluating options for a possible divestment of the stem cell and gene therapy programs so those can move forward outside the company. InVivo has plans to restart the cervical study once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a protocol that allows for enrollment in the United States. Another financial move to support the Inspire study is the termination of 13 employees, which is about 39 percent of InVivo’s workforce.
All told the strategic restructuring is expected to save InVivo about $7.3 million in operating expenses for 2018. The move is also expected to reduce the company’s monthly cash-burn rate from $2 million to about $1.5 million.
“I feel confident that going forward, we have aligned our operational efforts and financial resources to fully support our core goal of bringing the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold to market. We continue to work with the FDA as expeditiously as possible with the goal of reopening enrollment in INSPIRE, and we look forward to completing the study and submitting our HDE application,” InVivo’s chief executive officer and board chairman Mark Perrin said in a statement.
So far investors seem to be responding positively to InVivo’s decision. Shares of company stock are up more than 2 percent this morning at $1.18. That is well below its 2017 high mark of $4.95 per share on Jan. 27. After the company reported the Inspire patient death in July, share prices fell 20 percent and has not recovered.