ADC Reviews

Rubius plans to cut 75% of staff, shares tumble


On Sept. 13, Rubius Therapeutics announced plans to restructure its operations and implement a series of cost-saving measures in order to advance its next-generation red blood cell therapy platform in order to support cash through the end of 2023.

These measures include: planned layoffs of 75%, mainly in clinical development, production, administration and other positions; discontinuation of Phase I clinical trials of RTX-240 and RTX-224 for advanced solid tumors; planned sale of Rhode Island-based Manufacturing devices, patients still in the trial will continue to be dosed until disease progression or drug discontinuation (n=6).

As soon as the news came out, Rubius’s share price plummeted by nearly 15%, and the current total market value is only $83.76 million.

On April 8, Rubius announced the phase I/II clinical data of RTX-240 in the treatment of advanced solid tumors at the AACR meeting. The results were not satisfactory. Of the 34 patients, only 1 had a partial response, and 2 had no progress. Partial remission was confirmed. Rubius tumbled nearly 60% on unfavorable clinical data.

Red-Cell Therapeutics (RCT) is a branch of cell therapy technology that uses red blood cells as the main drug carrier for the treatment of cancer, immune and metabolic diseases, and infectious diseases. The RCT using stem cell engineering was pioneered by Rubius. First, the donor’s hematopoietic stem cells were transformed into special therapeutic red blood cells, which were cultured on a large scale in vitro, and then used as a drug carrier to return the drug like a “blood transfusion”. into the body of patients to treat various diseases.

“With more than 80 patients taking the drug in three clinical trials to date, Rubius has demonstrated that engineered red blood cell therapies can be manufactured and used safely at scale,” said Pablo J. Cagnoni, MD, President and CEO of Rubius Therapeutics. And activate the patient’s immune system, resulting in clinical benefits in certain cancer patients, including tumor shrinkage and long-term stable disease in PD-(L)1-refractory solid tumors. Based on these early findings, we firmly believe that red blood cell therapy has the potential to treat cancer. and autoimmunity. We plan to focus on the development of a next-generation red blood cell platform that utilizes cell-binding technology that has the potential to improve the existing advantages of red blood cell therapy platforms and demonstrate better efficacy, safety and tolerability. Therefore , we have decided to discontinue the ongoing clinical trials of RTX-240 and RTX-224 in advanced solid tumors and restructure the business to support drug candidates based on next-generation platforms.”