Miragen lays off 18 as part of strategy overhaul

BOULDER — miRagen Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEN) plans to shed 18 staffers as it pulls away from its blood-cancer research and bets on its lung-disease drug candidate.

In a statement, the company said it would shift research primarily toward its treatment candidate for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that scars lung tissue, and away from the blood-cancer drug candidates that are currently undergoing clinical trials. miRagen now plans to recruit only 30 patients for a Phase II trial of its blood-cancer drug, compared with the estimated 126 enrollment slots it previously announced.

The company also plans to cut 18 employees as it narrows its focus on IPF. Those leaving the company include miRagen executive vice president of research and development Paul Rubin, who said he wishes to spend more time with family. Diana Escolar, miRagen’s senior vice president of clinical sciences, has been named chief medical officer upon Rubin’s departure.

The company also signed a $20 million stock purchase agreement with Chicago-based Aspire Capital Fund LLC.

miRagen said the reductions in scope and headcount will allow it to keep operating through Q4 of 2020. It previously had enough cash to operate only through summer 2020, according to quarterly filings from Q3. 

miRagen has had a difficult patch of months. The Nasdaq gave miRagen until next April to get its stock price above $1 per share or face delisting, and the company missed both its revenue and loss-per-share targets in the last quarter. The company has yet to secure market approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for any of its drug candidates.

miRagen made the announcement after the close of trading Wednesday. Its stock closed at 69 cents per share.

BOULDER — miRagen Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MGEN) plans to shed 18 staffers as it pulls away from its blood-cancer research and bets on its lung-disease drug candidate.

In a statement, the company said it would shift research primarily toward its treatment candidate for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that scars lung tissue, and away from the blood-cancer drug candidates that are currently undergoing clinical trials. miRagen now plans to recruit only 30 patients for a Phase II trial of its blood-cancer drug, compared with the estimated 126 enrollment slots it previously announced.

The company also plans to cut 18 employees as it narrows its focus on IPF. Those leaving the company include miRagen executive vice president of research and development Paul Rubin, who said he wishes to spend more time with family. Diana Escolar, miRagen’s senior vice president of clinical sciences, has been named chief medical officer upon Rubin’s departure.

The company also signed a $20 million stock purchase agreement with Chicago-based Aspire Capital Fund LLC.

miRagen said the reductions in scope and headcount will allow it to keep operating through Q4 of 2020. It previously had enough cash to operate only through summer 2020, according to quarterly filings from Q3. 

miRagen has had a difficult patch of months. The Nasdaq gave miRagen until next April to get its stock price above $1 per share or face delisting, and the company missed both its revenue and loss-per-share targets in the last quarter. The company has yet to secure market…