OvaScience has pumped the brakes on its expansion and will reassess ongoing and planned studies of its AUGMENT fertility treatment, and undertake a corporate restructuring. The workforce will be reduced by about 30%. President and CEO Harald Stock, Ph.D., and COO Paul Chapman will be among the staff members leaving the company. Dr Stock had assumed the role of president and CEO in July of this year.
Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D., executive chair and co-founder of OvaScience, will oversee operations while the company searches for a new CEO.
Last month, the company reported a net loss for the quarter ending September 30 of $19.3 million, compared to $17.9 million for the same period in 2015. The increase in net loss was attributed to planned higher personnel costs and costs associated with the commercial expansion of AUGMENT.
The proposed changes will enable the company to extend its cash position into the first quarter of 2019 and increase its focus on the development of OvaPrime, which could increase a woman’s egg reserve, and OvaTure, a next-generation in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. As of September 30, OvaScience had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments of $131.0 million, compared to $126.7 million on December 31, 2015. The increase reflects the net proceeds of $53.9 million received from the completion of OvaScience’s follow-on offering in the second quarter of 2016.
“While we have made progress on building the infrastructure to commercialize AUGMENT and remain confident in its potential, the near-term financial return has not been sufficient for us to continue to invest at the levels we believe are necessary for a large commercial expansion. We remain committed to developing our groundbreaking therapies for as many women and couples as possible,” said Dr. Dipp.