BenevolentAI cuts programs, workers

May 25, 2023

UK-based drug discovery company BenevolentAI announced organizational restructuring plans, which include a headcount reduction and reprioritization of its pipeline.

Overall, BenevolentAI is hoping that its organizational restructure will result in net cost savings of $55 million (£45 million), to extend its cash runway through July 2025 without any additional revenues. As a part of its workforce reduction, the company will be letting go of up to approximately 180 employees, which when compounded with its reduced drug programs would generate net savings of $39.5 million (£32 million). 

As part of the strategic plan the company it will be streamlining and reorganizing operations across two distinct business units, its Tech Business Unit and Bio Business Unit. The Tech unit will be deploying a new suite of AI products, including a natural language biomedical querying system. Looking to advance its most promising assets, the Bio unit will focus on its BEN-8744 and BEN-28010 programs.

BEN-8744 is a potentially best-in-class PDE10 inhibitor for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, set to enter phase 1 clinical trials in the third quarter of 2023. BEN-28010, a CHK1 inhibitor designed for treating a type of brain tumor, is expected to be ready for IND  submission by the fourth quarter of 2023.

In addition to these programs, BenevolentAI will continue its research on earlier-stage assets focused on neurodegenerative and immunological diseases such as Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and fibrosis.