Athersys to ax 70% of workers

June 3, 2022

Athersys will ax up to 70% of its workforce as a part of a restructuring plan aimed at prioritizing lead clinical programs and reducing expenses. 

The SEC filing details that the majority of workers will be let go by the end of June 2022. The Ohio-based biotech's leadership will change too, with a few members of the executive team leaving the company. President and CEO William Lehmann left on May 31 and EVP and CFO John Harrington and Ivor Macleod respectively will leave at the end of this month. 

The announcement comes a few weeks after the company reported disappointing results from a phase 2/3 trial. The trial examined the effects of Athersy’s MultiStem therapy on patients with ischemic stroke, but ultimately failed to meet its primary endpoint. 

MultiStem is the company’s proprietary stem cell product, derived from multipotent adult progenitor cells, or MAPCs. The cells are sourced from healthy adult bone marrow and can be administered without tissue matching or immune suppression. 

About the trial results and restructuring announcements, the company’s current CEO Dan Camardo said, "We remain excited by the potential of MultiStem to benefit patients in stroke as well as other critical care areas. I’m confident that our revised strategy and focus, executed by the remaining committed team, puts us on the right path for future opportunities. We are deeply grateful to the employees who are leaving Athersys for their commitment, hard work, and many contributions.”