Black Diamond axes 30% of staff

April 26, 2022

Black Diamond Therapeutics, known for its novel cancer treatments, is letting 30% of its workers go as part of a new restructuring program to stretch out the company’s cash into September 2024.

The biotech, based out of Cambridge, Massachusetts, will also cut the program for its drug, BDTX-189, an experimental therapy targeting cancer-causing mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) kinases. According to the company, the program will be discontinued "due to the rapid evolution of the treatment landscape in non-small cell lung cancer harboring either EGFR or HER2 Exon 20 insertion mutations."

The company made the decision to cut its workforce to increase operational efficiency and execute its mission, said David Epstein, president and CEO of Black Diamond.

Black Diamond will continue working on BDTX-1535 and BDTX-4933, two of its MasterKey programs that target the EGFR mutations. BDTX-1535 enters the brain to target the glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive and difficult to treat cancer, and intrinsic and acquired resistance EGFR mutations in non-small cell lung cancer. Currently, a phase 1 trial is underway with an update planned in 2023.

The second drug in its pipeline, BDTX-4933, stops mutations on the BRAF gene for patients with or without brain tumors that are driven by BRAF mutations. The drug is not approved for human testing quite yet but the company is expected to submit a request to the U.S. FDA by mid 2023.