Vital Therapies Evaluating Options After Clinical Trial Failure

The San Diego-based company is looking at a potential sale or merger and has reduced its board and cut its workforce by 80%.

Omar Ford

October 12, 2018

1 Min Read
Vital Therapies Evaluating Options After Clinical Trial Failure
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Vital Therapies is reviewing strategic options including a potential sale or merger of the company, according to an SEC filing. The decision to review its position comes after the San Diego-based company failed to meet the endpoints in a clinical trial evaluating its cell-based ELAD System, designed to treat patients suffering from liver disease.

In addition to the potential sale or merger, the company said it would reduce the number of people serving on its board from nine to four members. The firm said it has retained Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. as its strategic financial advisor.

Vital Therapies' ELAD targets alcohol-induced liver decompensation. The system filters toxins in the blood that can damage liver cells and transfuses the blood back into a patient’s body. ELAD had all the makings of a breakthrough technology, but after the clinical trial went south, Vital Therapies said it was doubtful if the system would get approval in Europe or the U.S. without additional trials.

September was a tough month for Vital Therapies.  At the time, Vital Therapies had announced the trial failure and company shares plunged about 90%. The firm also revealed it would lay off about 80% of its workforce and would continue to evaluate the need for its remaining personnel.

This marks the second time the ELAD has failed to meet its endpoints. The technology also struck out in a clinical trial in 2015.

About the Author(s)

Omar Ford

Omar Ford is MD+DI's Editor-in-Chief. You can reach him at [email protected].

 

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