IGM, with cash dipping below $390M, cuts head count 22%, stops blood cancer work to stretch money

How much money does a biotech need to feel comfortable in today’s market? IGM Biosciences added to evidence that the number is big after the market closed Tuesday, when it revealed a 22% reduction in its head count and prioritization of its pipeline to make the hundreds of millions in its bank go further. 

Talking at an investor event last month, IGM CEO Fred Schwarzer gave an upbeat answer to a question about the biotech’s financial footing, telling attendees that it had “plenty of cash to get through into the second half of 2025.” The cash pile stood at $387 million at the end of September. Yet, while IGM has a bank balance to turn some biotechs green with envy, it has decided it needs to cut costs.  

IGM ended September with 290 full-time employees. The decision to reduce that figure by 22% is part of a set of changes intended to keep IGM going into the second quarter of 2026. Through the changes, IGM is focusing its resources on colorectal cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The biotech is halting work on two assets, the CD123xCD3 bispecific IGM-2537 and IL-15xPD-L1 candidate IGM-7354, and cutting the list of the indications targeted by two other molecules. Work on aplitabart in acute myeloid leukemia and in combination with birinapant is stopping, as is development of IGM-2644 in multiple myeloma.

In a statement, Schwarzer said IGM is “very encouraged by the clinical and preclinical data that we have generated for the programs” but is halting work in response to “the difficult conditions in the capital markets for our industry.” The changes are intended to narrow IGM’s focus on opportunities with “the most potential to produce significant near-term value,” the CEO said.

IGM will continue to study aplitabart, a DR5 agonist, in colorectal cancer, forging toward the goal of enrolling 110 patients in a randomized trial by the end of the first quarter of next year. Development of the CD38xCD3 bispecific IGM-2644 is continuing in autoimmune diseases. IGM aims to file to test the drug candidate in humans next year. Work on the CD20xCD3 bispecific imvotamab is continuing too.