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Imara to lay off all but six employees

Massachusetts-based biotech Imara will be laying off 83% of its workforce after its top drug candidate fell short in clinical trials.

The recent regulatory filing with the SEC states that all but six Imara employees will be laid off by the end of the second quarter. It also says that the workforce change is meant to reduce the company’s operating expenses while it strategizes how to move forward following the disappointment of recently shared phase 2 trial results.

The drug, tovinontrine, was meant to treat blood diseases such as beta-thalassemia, sickle cell disease, and heart failure. Earlier this month, the company decided to stop its development for all three indications after the drug failed to provide meaningful benefit in trials.

While a few biotechs have made similar announcements recently, it seems that Imara has been marching toward this day for a long time, with drug disappointments dating back a few years. At the same time, a public market downturn has made it so that companies are trading below market value, putting pressure on companies to reduce expenses.

Imara’s shares are currently trading at $1 a piece, compared to $47 in mid-2021.