Beam said it will let go around 100 employees to focus on developing its sickle cell disease candidates and extend the company’s cash runway.

Millie Nelson, Editor

October 23, 2023

2 Min Read
Beam cuts 20% of workforce as pipeline priorities change
DepositPhotos/DmitriySk

Beam Therapeutics said it will let go around 100 employees to focus on developing its sickle cell disease candidates and extend the company’s cash runway.  

Base editing firm Beam has announced it will reduce its workforce by around 20% (approximately 100 employees), which is expected to extend the firm’s cash runway into 2026. As a result of the workforce reduction, the company expects to have one-time costs of $6.6 million, which are related to severance and will incur in Q4 of this year.  

The anticipated cost savings amount to $1.1 billion, and Beam said this will fund its revised plan into 2026.

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DepositPhotos/DmitriySk

The rejig of its pipeline priorities will see Beam focus on BEAM-101 an Engineered Stem Cell Antibody Paired Evasion (ESCAPE). Both aim to treat sickle cell disease; however, ESCAPE also is being developed to treat beta thalassemia. In addition to this, the firm said it will also prioritize BEAM-302, which is used for the treatment of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD).  

“From the beginning, Beam’s strategy has been to develop base editing technology broadly across a diverse portfolio of programs and delivery modalities, and our science and pipeline continue to progress across the board. In this challenging market environment, however, we need to make the difficult decision to focus our resources on those clinical programs and research areas we believe have the highest potential for near-term value creation, while continuing to build a strong company for the future,” said John Evans, CEO of Beam.  

“We are grateful for the dedication and innumerable contributions of our impacted colleagues. We understand the challenge this presents for them and are fully committed to supporting them throughout this process.”  

Beam will focus on generating a clinical dataset for BEAM-201, an allogeneic chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) cell, which the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put on hold in 2022 due to a lack of sufficient data. Furthermore, it will pause the development of its hepatitis B virus candidate and instead will continue to explore partnership opportunities for it and other potential ex vivo CAR-T programs.

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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