Drug discovery biotech Vyant preps to wind down operations, starting with layoffs

Small drug discovery biotech Vyant Bio is taking steps to wind down operations, including reducing its workforce, pursuing strategic alternatives and saying goodbye to CEO John Roberts.

Also heading out the door is Chief Scientific Officer Robert Fremeau Jr. Both executives agreed to step down effective today “to preserve cash for the execution of an orderly wind-down process,” Vyant said in a Friday press release. Chief Financial Officer Andrew LaFrence will step in as CEO “through this period of transition.”

Vyant was working on novel and repurposed therapeutics for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. The company has programs for Rett syndrome, CDKL5 deficiency disorders and familial Parkinson’s disease.

But after a meeting of the board of directors, Vyant is looking to close up shop. The board recommended a reduction in force be conducted as soon as possible to preserve cash, according to the press release. In addition, "the company’s board and management believe that it is prudent to allow time for LifeSci Capital to continue its mandate of exploring potential strategic transactions while providing for prudent cash management in the event strategic alternatives fail to materialize and an orderly wind-down of the company’s operations becomes necessary," LaFrence said.

Behind the move to wind down is a “belief that [Vyant’s] stock price does not reflect the fundamental value of the business,” the release noted.