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August 15, 2023

BioXcel Therapeutics to cut more than half of workforce

PHOTO | FILE IMAGE Vimal Mehta is CEO of BioXcel Therapeutics Inc.

New Haven-based biopharmaceutical company BioXcel Therapeutics Inc. announced Monday it plans to reduce its workforce from approximately 190 to 80 employees as a cost-savings measure.

The company uses artificial intelligence to develop medicines in neuroscience and immuno-oncology.

“We are grateful to all employees for their contributions and will support those who are impacted through their transitions,” said CEO Vimal Mehta.

On Monday, the company announced it had a net loss of $53.5 million for the second quarter of 2023, compared to a net loss of $37.7 million for the same period in 2022. Its cash and cash equivalents totaled $127.5 million as of June 30. 

BioXcel also indicated it intends to reduce more than 50% of its cash burn to approximately $80 million going forward on an annual basis.

The company plans to make multiple changes to boost its financial performance, according to the announcement.

There will be a shift in commercial strategy for its drug Igalmi in the institutional setting. The company is seeking to reduce hospital-related commercialization expenses. Igalmi is delivered via a film under the tongue for the treatment of agitation due to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults. 

The company plans to suspend programs no longer deemed core to its business, such as a treatment for major depressive disorder. It is evaluating options for its immuno-oncology subsidiary, OnkosXcel Therapeutics, including potential financing or strategic partnership, a merger/acquisition or sale.

BioXcel plans a shift in focus to develop its drug candidate BXCL501 for use in the at-home setting in the treatment of agitation in schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and in patients with mild to moderate dementia due to probable Alzheimer’s disease.

“We are shifting our primary focus to development in the at-home setting while maintaining our value-creating core capabilities ranging from AI innovation to commercialization,” Mehta said.  “We intend to prioritize our resources to develop BXCL501 for use in assisted living facility and at-home settings and continue to advance our neuroscience pipeline. Unfortunately, this reprioritization requires us to reduce our workforce.”

As of Tuesday morning, BioXcel’s stock price had dropped to $4.20, compared to $7.40 on Friday.

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