- Aclaris Therapeutics will lay off 86 employees and end certain development programs as it restructures to extend cash for operations, the company said Thursday.
- The biopharma said it will shift its focus to immuno-inflammatory therapies under development and seek partners to sell its commercial dermatology products, Rhofade and Eskata.
- The moves will cost between $3 million and $3.5 million over six months, excluding non-cash charges, Aclaris said in a Thursday statement. Cash payments for the restructuring should be largely done by the end of March, the Wayne, Pennsylvania-based company said.
The moves will give the company breathing room to focus on a pipeline that includes a Phase 1 treatment for rheumatoid arthritis known as ATI-450. Aclaris expects the layoffs and refocusing to preserve enough cash to fund operations into the third quarter of 2021.
Last month, when the company announced it was undertaking a strategic review, Aclaris estimated it had access to enough money to fund operations into the fourth quarter of 2020. It reported cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities worth $115.5 million as of June 30.
Aclaris said it will no longer use a sales force to promote Rhofade (oxymetazoline), a treatment for redness associated with rosacea, but will continue to sell and distribute the product while it looks for a marketing partner. Aclaris already decided to stop marketing Eskata (hydrogen peroxide), a topical solution to treat skin growths known as seborrheic keratoses, because of disappointing sales.
The company had net revenue of $10.9 million in the first six months of 2019, with sales of Rhofade reaching $8.4 million and Eskata bringing in $300,000.
Aclaris CEO Neal Walker said the restructuring will remove expenses and risks associated with a commercial infrastructure, giving the company needed cash to focus on its immuno-inflammatory medicines.
“Although de-emphasizing its commercial products is disappointing to some investors we have spoken with, we think [Aclaris] is doing the right thing to position itself better for future growth,” Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Louise Chen wrote in a note to investors today.
Investors will be able to get more financial guidance on the Aclaris restructuring with the release of third-quarter operating results, the company said. Aclaris also plans to hold an R&D-focused investor event on Sept. 27 in New York.