By Will Feuer
UniQure, the gene-therapy company, has made the decision to lay off approximately 20% of its employees and scale down a majority of its research and technology initiatives in order to preserve cash.
The company plans to eliminate 114 positions and Ricardo Dolmetsch, the chief scientific officer, will be leaving, although he will continue to serve as a scientific consultant until the end of the year.
In addition, UniQure will discontinue its research on potential treatments for Parkinson’s disease and other projects. Instead, the company will shift its focus on developing a drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and exploring a potential treatment for autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease. UniQure will also concentrate on the development of a potential treatment for Huntington’s disease.
As part of these changes, UniQure will be closing its research laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts and subleasing the space. The company intends to consolidate all GMP manufacturing into its Lexington facility, while also consolidating process and analytical development into its Amsterdam facility.
UniQure anticipates cost savings of around $180 million in the next three years and will incur a one-time restructuring charge of approximately $2.3 million, primarily in the fourth quarter.
At the end of June, the company had $628.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, and investments, providing enough funding to sustain its operations until the second quarter of 2027.