Home News ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Restructures; Slashes 30% Workforce

ASLAN Pharmaceuticals Restructures; Slashes 30% Workforce


What’s The News?

Singapore-based ASLAN Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company which develops novel therapeutics for global markets is initiating a corporate restructuring exercise. The company said this… Click To Tweet

What Does This Mean?

This blow comes after Varlitnib, the company’s first-line treatment for HER1/HER2 co-expressed cancer tumors failed to meet the utmost goal. Varlitnib, a highly potent, oral, reversible, small molecule inhibitor of the human epidermal growth factor receptor or HER failed to improve end-results in a phase 2 study of patients with metastatic gastric cancer.

ASLAN stated it will use the saved resources to focus on its lead clinical programs: varlitnib in biliary tract cancer (BTC), ASLAN003 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and ASLAN004 in atopic dermatitis.

Why Does It Matter?

The Bigger Market Picture: The cuts are proposed to ensure ASLAN can manage its three remaining programs to key readouts.

Additionally with the reduction in workforce, Dr. Bertil Lindmark, currently Chief Medical Officer, will retire and return to Europe. While Dr. Chih-Yi Hsieh, the current VP Medical and GM Taiwan, will assume the role of acting Chief Medical Office.

Dr. Carl Firth, ASLAN’s Chief Executive Officer, said the company remains committed to ensuring effective use of its capital to support the development of its three assets, varlitnib, ASLAN003 and ASLAN004. Each of these three assets has the potential to be the critical value-drivers, mentioned Firth.

According to ASLAN, it will concentrate resources on the late-stage development of varlitnib as a potential novel treatment for first and second-line biliary tract cancer. Last month,  the company has also concluded enrollment in its global pivotal TreeTopp trial in second-line patients.

The topline data is expected in the second half of 2019. If successful, ASLAN plans to use the data to support a New Drug Application (NDA) on China, the U.S., and other major markets.

Furthermore, ASLAN is determined to continue phase 1 and 2 trials of other assets in acute myeloid leukemia and atopic dermatitis. It expects to complete elements of these studies in the first half of 2019.

“We are approaching several significant milestones in 2019 and beyond, so it is important we complete key studies over the next two years. Restructuring is organization has involved some tough decisions. It is difficult to lose outstanding members of the team who have contributed to ASLAN over the years and have tackled some of the most challenging obstacles to advancing new treatments for cancer,” Firth said in a statement.


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