Bolt Bio cuts workforce by 50% to refocus pipeline

Bolt Biotherapeutics outlined plans to halve its workforce as part of a “strategic refocusing” that will see the firm stop development of antibody conjugate candidate trastuzumab imbotolimod.

Millie Nelson, Editor

May 17, 2024

2 Min Read

In its Q1 2024 financial results, the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company described the decrease in its workforce as a “strategic prioritization.” Bolt had been assessing its immune-stimulating antibody conjugate (ISAC), BDC-1001, in patients with HER2-positive cancers. While the candidate provided “clinical validation for the ISC mechanism, it did not meet our high bar for advancement,” said Willie Quinn, CEO of Bolt.

Consequently, the firm has decided to discontinue all development resources dedicated to BDC-1001 and instead will shift its focus to its agonist antibody targeting Dectin-2, its Boltbody ISAC programs, and continue to support its partnerships with Genmab and Toray.

“We believe that BDC-3042, a first-in-class agonist antibody that reawakens myeloid cells to attack tumor cells, has broad potential across many tumor types. We’ve seen encouraging safety to date in our Phase I dose escalation study of BDC-3042 and are excited about the very strong preclinical data for BDC-4182. We believe focusing on these programs will deliver significant value to shareholders,” commented Quinn.

The reduction of workforce and ending of its BDC-1001 program will extend the company’s cash runway into the second half of 2026. Additionally, as part of its restructuring, Bolt has made some c-suite level changes. Quinn previously held the position of CFO at the firm and has taken over as CEO from Randall Schatzman, who has been moved to an “advisory role” along with chief medical officer, Edith Perez.

For its first quarter 2024, Bolt reported $5.3 million worth of collaboration revenue. However, the firm recorded a net loss of $10.8 million, $6.1 million less than the previous quarter year-on-year.

Lay-off land

The industry as a whole is susceptible to rejigging pipelines and priorities dependent on the success of the company’s respective candidates. In September 2023, 2seventy said it would be refocusing its efforts on chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T therapy Abecma as a restructuring saw the firm cut 176 jobs to help free up $130+ million.

One month later, Beam Therapeutics laid out plans to let go of 100 employees to focus its efforts on generating a clinical dataset for BEAM-201, an allogeneic CAR-T cell and develop its Engineered Stem Cell Antibody Paired Evasion (ESCAPE), BEAM-101.  

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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