Candel Therapeutics to lay off 50% of workforce, refocus on advanced oncology immunotherapies

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Candel Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company that develops cancer-fighting immunotherapies, will lay off 50% of its workforce.

The Needham, MA-based firm said in a statement that the layoff is part of a strategic restructuring in which the firm will shift its focus to the development of two of its advanced oncology programs, CAN-3110 and CAN-2409, as well as its enLIGHTEN Discovery Platform, while reducing the workforce and expenses associated with enabling the commercial readiness of CAN-2409.

Candel is currently seeking a partnership to further develop CAN-2409, a replication-defective adenovirus designed to deliver the HSV-thymidine kinase gene to a patient's tumor and elicit an immune response against the disease. CAN-2409 is the most advanced immunotherapy in Candel’s pipeline; the firm plans to continue to collect clinical data for key readouts for CAN-2409 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.

The company said that it anticipates presenting initial activity and biomarker data for CAN-3110 in recurring high-grade glioma in the second half of 2024.

While the firm said in its statement that it anticipates incurring charges of approximately $0.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2023 related to severance and healthcare and related benefits for its terminated employees, it expects that the layoff and reduced operating costs will allow the company’s existing cash resources to fund its operations into the fourth quarter of 2024.

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