IGM Biosciences plans to axe 22% of its workforce, becoming the latest company to downsize in a bid to free cash resources.

Amid the layoffs, the US-based biotechnology company will also reprioritise its pipeline, discontinuing operations for all haematologic oncology and targeted cytokine product development while doubling down on its efforts in the clinical development of T cell engagers for autoimmune diseases and a DR5 agonist for colorectal cancer.

IGM expects the restructuring to extend the company’s cash runway into Q2 2026.

The restructuring comes less than a month after the company said it anticipated an increase in headcount to support the research and development of its pipeline candidates, citing its intent to advance and expand its antibody product pipeline, in its 13 November 10-Q filing. In the same filing, the company acknowledged that it had significant net losses to date and that achieving profitability sufficient enough to offset the losses was dependent on the realisation of the company’s drug candidates.

Difficult industry market conditions informed IGM’s decision to focus capital resources on its autoimmune disease and colorectal cancer therapeutics, CEO Fred Schwarzer said in a press release. As per the same announcement, the company believes that its prioritised indications present the best chance of generating “significant near-term value”.

The strategic shift, however, adds to the setbacks across the field, with other biotechs such as Kronos Bio also cutting staff by 19% to allocate resources towards its cancer programmes and NexImmune reducing its workforce by 53% and ceasing development of its three adoptive T cell therapies.

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By GlobalData

Pipeline updates:

IGM now plans to move forward with its autoimmune disease candidate and plans to file an investigational new drug (IND) application for IGM-2644 (CD38 x CD3) in 2024. In addition, IGM will continue to develop antibody targets with Sanofi, in a deal announced in March 2022. The partnership will see Sanofi using IGM’s antibody technology platform to develop, produce, and commercialise immunoglobin M (IgM) antibody agonists for three oncology targets and three immunology targets.

The company is also prioritising development of imvotamab (IGM-2323), a bispecific T cell engaging antibody currently being evaluated in a Phase Ib study (NCT06041568) for severe systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a Phase Ib study (NCT06087406) for severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and a Phase I/II study (NCT04082936) for relapsed or refractory B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.