After layoffs, BridgeBio turns to dealmaking for up to 6 drugs

After a clinical flop and two recent layoff rounds, BridgeBio Pharma is looking to out-license six of its candidates to save capital.

The biotech has been hit by the burden of the bear market after disclosing disappointing phase 3 results last year for its transthyretin amyloidosis med, acoramidis. In the trial, placebo patients reported a smaller decline in their six-minute walking distance over one year compared to treated patients. 

Following the trial bust, BridgeBio initiated a restructuring plan in January that included two rounds of layoffs. The numbers of employees laid off weren’t disclosed for either wave. On the heels of the second round, the company’s chief strategy officer Cameron Turtle resigned, exiting the biotech in April.  

Now, the company is “engaged in partnering and out-licensing discussions” for six programs, according to the first-quarter financial earnings report released yesterday. Two of the drugs—BBP-589 for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa and BBP-681, a topical PI3KA inhibitor for venous and lymphatic malformations—are in clinical trials. The other programs are earlier on in development and include two AAV gene therapies, a potential treatment for Netherton syndrome and a PI3KB inhibitor for autism.

In March, BridgeBio sold its injection drug Nulibry to Sentynl Therapeutics, garnering $10 million upfront from the rare genetic disorder treatment.

The biotech anticipates restructuring will cost between $23 million and $25 million this fiscal year mainly due to impairments and write-offs of long-lived assets, severance and employee-related costs as well as other related costs. The cost has been partially offset by a $15.3 million drop in the biotech’s normal operating expenses compared to the same time last year, mostly due to cost savings and restructuring impacts.