ObsEva winds down and lays off all staff as money, options run out

ObsEva winds down and lays off all staff as money, options run out

With its money and options dwindling, ObsEva has finally decided to wind down operations and lay off all its employees.

The writing has been on the wall for the Swiss biotech since July 2022, when the company’s Nasdaq stock nosedived in the wake of the FDA’s claim that ObsEva’s highly touted uterine fibroid candidate linzagolix wasn’t fit for an on-time approval. In response, the company announced a 70% reduction in workforce two months later, with the remaining staff focused on preterm labor treatment ebopiprant and oral oxytocin receptor agonist nolasiban.

By November 2022, the company had sold off ebopiprant to Xoma in an attempt to resuscitate its share price. When that failed, the company let go of its Boston-based executives—including CEO Brian O’Callaghan—and consolidated its remaining operations in Switzerland in February 2023. The company’s narrower focus became nolasiban, which it was investigating as a way to improve in vitro fertilization success rates.

The company delisted from the Nasdaq the following month but has now informed the SIX Swiss Exchange’s listing authority that it is “likely not going to be able to satisfy the requirements for maintaining its listing on SIX.”

The Geneva-based company has secured a four-month moratorium from being chased by creditors for its debts until the end of May while it winds downs operations.

Current CEO Fabien de Ladonchamps informed investors last month that ObsEva was “currently engaged in advanced negotiations for a transaction pertaining to nolasiban.”

“While we are pursuing our efforts to monetize nolasiban, our compound designed to increase live birth rate for women undergoing IVF, ObsEva’s cash position remains low, which compromises our ability to keep operating the company with existing workforce and to have financial statements prepared,” de Ladonchamps said in this morning’s release.

While de Ladonchamps’ employment will be terminated along with all of his colleagues’, ObsEva said he will “remain in function during the notice period for the duration of the moratorium process and beyond, as needed.”

At its last earnings report back in the summer, ObsEva revealed that the $3.3 million it had available in cash and equivalents was likely to run out by the end of last year. Since being founded in 2012, the biotech had racked up losses of $482.7 million and “expects to continue to generate operating losses for the foreseeable future,” it said at the time.

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