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Facing challenges, Deciphera cuts workforce by a third

Deciphera is regrouping after Qinlock failed to outperform standard of care in a Phase 3 study testing the drug as a second-line treatment for GIST. Sales of the drug in the fourth-line setting have been modest, reaching $21.7 million in the third quarter.

Wall Street analysts viewed the restructuring as a necessary step, and the company’s shares jumped 12% on Tuesday. The savings will allow Deciphera to conserve enough cash to operate though 2024 while focusing on two experimental cancer drugs it deems most promising for future growth: vimseltinib and another drug called DCC-3116.

A Phase 3 study of vimseltinib, an oral medicine for tenosynovial giant cell tumors, should start before the end of the year, Deciphera said.

DCC-3116, intended to treat tumors with certain types of mutations, is in an earlier stage. The company plans to release data from a Phase 1 dosing study next year.

Deciphera isn’t the only biotech company cutting jobs this fall. Theravance, Esperion and FibroGen have all announced workforce reductions in recent months. Deciphera said it will take a charge of about $32 million in the fourth quarter for the restructuring.