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Large Number of Staff Laid off Again

Unity Biotechnology, an anti-aging biotech, announced a half- Staff layoff and a reprioritization of its pipeline to focus on its ophthalmology assets a minute after the market closed on Thursday. As it tries to prolong financial runway until the first quarter of 2023, the company’s updated vision rests practically all bets on UBX1325. Unity’s stock had already dropped 9.4% to $1.06 a share by the end of the day.

Unity laid down 30% of its Staff in September, a month after discontinuing its single clinical-stage development at the time, a failed knee pain asset. Thursday’s layoffs are a sobering reminder of what happened in fall 2020 for the biotech. Following the Staff decrease, shares fell from $12 per share to less than $4 per share in August of that year.

In the future, additional readouts for UBX1325, a Bcl-xL inhibitor, are expected in 2022. By the middle of the year, results from a phase 2a diabetic macular edoema trial will be available, as will midstage data on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by the end of the year, and a readout from a wet AMD cohort in a phase 1 research in the first half of the year.

The South San Francisco biotech is also betting on a preclinical bispecific programme to assist advanced candidate selection by the middle of the year. Unity will put a hold on preclinical assets in neurology, including a medication developed in collaboration with Jocasta Neuroscience for cognitive disorders and another for neurodegenerative illnesses. UBX1967 and UBX2050, two more preclinical eye disease assets, will also be put on hold.

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