Vital Therapies, a biotherapeutic company developing ELAD, a cell-based therapy targeting the treatment of liver failure, has announced a workforce reduction of about 30% and plans to institute across the board expense reductions to conserve capital. The company expects to record personnel-related severance charges of $1.2 million, primarily in the quarter ending Sept. 30.
“As we evaluate our next steps, it is necessary to conserve cash while we continue our analysis of the VTI-208 clinical trial data to possibly support the design and implementation of a new clinical trial to confirm what we believe to be promising pre-defined subset and post hoc analyses,” said Terry Winters, Ph.D., chief executive officer and co-chairman of Vital Therapies. “This has been a difficult process, but I want to thank each and every one of our departing employees for their hard work, passion and dedication. We will not forget their contributions and we wish them well.”
Vital Therapies continues to analyze the entire VTI-208 data set in order to determine the potential next steps in clinical development. In particular, the company is exploring the design of a new phase III clinical trial, which may limit subjects based on both model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score and age.
With other cost savings, such as the termination of the VTI-210 and 212 clinical trials and reductions in across the board expenses, Vital Therapies has extended its anticipated cash runway, and is evaluating whether current cash will be sufficient to fund all or a major part of a possible new phase III clinical trial. Sufficiency of current resources will depend on a number of variables, including but not limited to, extent to which the company can successfully further reduce other expenses, trial design and size, and enrollment rates.