Talaris Therapeutics Inc., (Nasdaq : TALS), is cutting its workforce and closing all of Louisville's facilities.
In a letter dated 26 April, the Boston-based biotech firm, which became public in 2021, explained that it was closing its facilities in a Worker Retraining and Adjustment Notification (WARN). The Atria Building has two facilities closing: 570 S. Preston St., and 300 E. Market St. The closures will affect 51 people. They began on April 28, and will continue until September 30.
Talaris has assured that affected employees would receive all wages and benefits until at least the 27th of June, with the option of receiving additional severance. The severance of one employee, who is an executive level employee, is controlled by a plan for executive severance.
Talaris was founded in 2002 under the name Regenerex LLC and had its headquarters in Louisville. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, it began reducing its staff in February and terminated about one third of its employees. The layoffs started after the company decided that it would discontinue two clinical trials aimed at treating living donor kidney recipients.
In a news release from February, the company stated that it was exploring "strategic options focused on maximising shareholder value." These included possible business combination and/or divestiture capabilities of the cell therapy CMC.
Talaris then announced in mid-April a further reduction of workforce. This affected 80 additional employees or approximately 95%.
According to a SEC filing, Scott Requadt is leaving as president and CEO, and Andrew Farnsworth as chief human resources officer. Both will depart on May 26. Nancy Krieger, chief medical officer of the company, and Michael Zdanowski as chief technology officer have both already left.
Requadt stated in the February press release that it was a difficult decision to stop further development of FCR001 for kidney transplantation tolerance, despite the promising initial data. I want to thank our patients, their donors and our investigators, collaborators, and all those who participated in this project. We hope that kidney disease treatment will continue to improve in the future. We would also like to thank our employees who have supported our mission to change the lives of patients.
This story may be updated after we have contacted the company Requadt for more information.
According to the SEC filing, Talaris estimates that it will incur cash based severance expenses and other employee termination costs of approximately $5.6 million in the second half of 2023 in relation to the April reduction of force. This amount would total about $8.7 millions in cash based severance charges when combined with initial reduction of force. As of December 31, the company's assets totaled $181.3 millions.
Talaris' most recent earnings report shows that it had a loss of net $19 million for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. This compares to a loss of net $12.9 million for the same quarter of 2021. In 2021, it had a loss of $7.8 millions. At the close of business on Tuesday, its price per share was $2.84.
Talaris, which raised $215 million in two decades before its IPO, was one of the most well-funded startups.
The most recent round of Talaris' funding was a $115-million Series B, led by Surveyor Capita l. This fund is a joint venture between Chicago-based Citadel LLC and Greenwich-based Viking Global Investors LP. This round included Talaris Series A investors Blackstone Life Sciences and Qiming Venture Partners USA, as well as new investors Cormorant Asset Management and Invus.
Suzanne Ildstad founded the company. She became chief scientific officer of the company in 2019, when Requadt took over as CEO. Ildstad is also listed as the senior scientific advisor of the company.
Enterprising Women honorees in 2022.