InVivo Ditches Drug Delivery Gel and 28% of Staff

Back in May we reported on the financials of InVivo Therapeutics, Inc., noting the significant ramp in R&D expenditure over the last period. Now, as the company is edging towards approval of its core Neuro-Spinal scaffold products it has elected to retrench its R&D spend into that area , in so doing ditching its early stage hydrogel drug delivery program.

Background

The last couple of years have not ben plain sailing for InVivo, with delays to its approval program and a repeating game of musical chairs in the boardroom. The share price has shrivelled in parallel, despite the company issuing positive sounding press releases about having enough money in its coffers to see it through to FDA approval of its Neuro-Spinal Scaffold.

R&D expenditure had more than doubled in the most recently reported fiscal year, so it’s perhaps unsurprising to se the company reviewing its portfolio and deciding to align its resources behind its Neuro-Spinal Scaffold and the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold Plus Stem Cells program for spinal cord injury (SCI). What this means is that resources currently deployed towards InVivo’s hydrogel drug delivery program will be eliminated. The hydrogel platform was at an early stage of preclinical development, and substantial financial and human resources would have been required to address technical and competitive challenges and to advance any drug delivery product to the partnering stage or into the clinic.

InVivo further announced it is getting rid of 14 employees, or 28% of its workforce, the combined saving expected to result in annualized savings of approximately $3 million and to reduce cash expenditures by approximately 23% compared to 2013 levels.

The company is making a point of saying that these savings leave it with sufficient funds to support its planned activities through March 2016 (in its last release it expected funds to last through November 2015).

Company comments

“Although reducing staff size and eliminating the hydrogel drug delivery program were difficult decisions, InVivo’s focus will be even stronger on the company’s core mission: developing meaningful treatments for spinal cord injury,” CEO Mark Perrin said. “Going forward, all of the company’s resources and efforts will be centered on the development of the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold for acute SCI and Scaffolds Plus Stem Cells for the treatment of chronic SCI. This focus will allow InVivo to advance the spinal cord injury programs without distraction and in a more financially efficient manner. Developing effective spinal cord injury treatments is a challenging task, and our renewed focus maximizes the potential for patients and shareholders to benefit from the major advancements that have been and continue to be made by the InVivo team.”

Source: InVivo Therapeutics, Inc.,

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