Locanabio Announces Shutdown, Aids Staff in Job Transition

Locanabio Halts Ops, Aids Genetic Meds Staff

Locanabio is set to cease operations by the year’s end, succumbing to the challenging financial landscape that continues to affect the biotech sector, particularly companies pursuing therapies for rare diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

The shutdown was confirmed to Fierce Biotech by CEO Jim Burns, Ph.D., following his announcement of the news on LinkedIn. In the process of winding down, Locanabio is exploring strategic options for its existing programs and technological assets.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the difficult decision to discontinue Locanabio’s company operations by the end of 2023. While we continue to believe in the potential of our RNA-targeted gene therapy platform to deliver transformative therapies, the decision was made due to the time and capital required to deliver clinical data in the current challenging funding environment.”

– Jim Burns CEO

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In addition to the closure, Burns mentioned that Locanabio will compile and distribute a résumé book for its employees to aid them in finding new employment. The company’s LinkedIn page indicates it has a workforce ranging from 51 to 200.

Locanabio was established in 2016, raising a $55 million series A in January 2019 to advance gene therapies focused on RNA targeting. Burns assumed the CEO role in December 2019, succeeding Jeffrey M. Ostrove, Ph.D.

The biotech was developing a total of five programs aimed at neuromuscular disorders such as DMD and myotonic dystrophy type 1, as well as neurodegenerative conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Its most advanced program was for DMD, targeting dystrophin exon 51, for which Locanabio was conducting studies in preparation for an investigational new drug application.

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