In a bid to further restructure operations, Sangamo plans to close its facility in Brisbane, California early in 2024, which will see 162 employees facing another round of layoffs.

During the transition, the company will move its headquarters to its facility in Richmond, California, effective January 1, 2024.

Sangamo will direct any freed resources towards advancing adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsid delivery technologies and its neurology epigenetic regulation portfolio via its investigational Nav1.7 and Prion disease therapies, said Sangamo CEO Sandy Macrae. Additionally, the company has decided to defer new investments for its Phase III Fabry and CAR-Treg studies and is instead actively seeking collaboration and investment partners for both programs.

Sangamo is the latest to be swept in the wave of layoffs, following companies like NexImmune and Kinnate Biopharma, which sacked 53% and 70% of their respective workforces in September to redirect cash towards priority projects.

In a conference call discussing Q3 results, executive vice president and COO Mark McClung said Sangamo is in conversations with potential partners for the Phase III Fabry study. He emphasized that a future partner would need to have the capital to ensure the trial is conducted and completed in a timely manner to commercialize the product globally to patients.

The company expects that the restructuring will reduce annual non-GAAP operations expenses by approximately 50%, and as a result, its financial runway will be sufficient to fund projects through Q3 2024.

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The latest cutbacks follow an initial restructuring in April 2023, where Sangamo eliminated 27% of the US workforce with the aim of prioritising its Nav1.7 and Prion projects, Fabry Phase III preparation, and TX200 CAR-Treg clinical study. Further development of preclinical studies in the neurology epigenetic regulation portfolio was suspended after Sangamo announced the termination of its agreements with Novartis and Biogen in June.

However, since then, Sangamo has found new partners in Prevail Therapeutics and Voyager Therapeutics. The company entered a licensing agreement with Voyager for a prion disease therapy in June and signed a $415m deal with Prevail to study AAV capsids in July.

Program updates

Sangamo plans to file an IND submission for its Nav1.7 program that uses zinc finger genome engineered technology for chronic neuropathic pain in 2024.

Data shared at the Prion 2023 Conference in October showed that animal models treated with the zinc finger repressors displayed significant reductions in prion protein expression and therefore had decreased neurotoxic prion aggregate formation.

Presented at the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) in October 2023, the program’s zinc finger activators, have demonstrated capabilities in restoring normal expression of SCN2A. Sangamo believes the activators could potentially be used to address neurodevelopmental disorders.

For the Phase I/II Steadfast study evaluating Car-Treg therapy TX200 in the treatment of HLA-A2 mismatched renal transplants, Sangamo has decided to hold data from cohort one and instead, release data from all four cohorts in 2024.