Regado cuts workforce by 15% after IPO fizzle

Regado Biosciences CEO Dave Mazzo

A month after limping onto the biotech IPO scene with a slashed-price $47 million raise, Regado Biosciences ($RGDO) is trimming about 15% of its staff, saving cash it'll need for a costly Phase III study.

Regado has let loose 5 of its 32 full-time employees, mostly in R&D, a move that will make for annual savings of $625,000 by the second quarter of next year, Regado said.

The company is staring down a roughly $150 million bill to take its lead candidate, REG1, through a 13,000-patient Phase III trial and into an interim analysis. The drug is a two-component anticoagulant, combining pegnivacogin and anivamersen to control bleeding during coronary interventions and open-heart surgeries, ideally making for faster, safer procedures.

But convincing Wall Street of the drug's value has proven difficult. After eyeing an IPO worth $14 to $16 per share, Regado made its debut at just $4, having to more than double the number of shares offered to scrape together that $47 million. Added to the company's recent $51 million venture round, that haul will make a dent in the cost of studying REG1, but Regado will have to either partner up or go back to the well when it needs more cash.

And that's just fine, CEO Dave Mazzo told FierceBiotech last week. Some big investors balked at Regado's gameplan and shied away from supporting a company undertaking such an expensive trial, Mazzo said, but the biotech now has its work cut out for it. The plan is to execute on Phase III, educate investors and, eventually, resurface with strong data and an eye for partnerships, Mazzo said. 

Despite the initial sputter, Regado's shares are up about 36% since their debut, leaping 40% last week as analysts initiated coverage before settling at $6.82 by Thursday's close.

- read the 8-K

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