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Gritstone bio Announces Workforce Reduction 

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Gritstone bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRTS) announces a 40% reduction in workforce due to delayed funding for the CORAL Phase 2b study. CEO Andrew Allen expresses gratitude to departing employees while emphasizing commitment to ongoing programs.
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  • 40% reduction in workforce due to lack of near-term funding for CORAL Phase 2b study
  • Delay in external funding anticipated in 1Q 2024 impacting balance sheet and cash position

The workforce reduction by Gritstone bio, Inc. signifies a strategic pivot in response to financial constraints, primarily due to the delay in their CORAL Phase 2b study. From a financial perspective, this decision may preserve capital and extend the company's runway, which is crucial for a clinical-stage biotech firm facing funding challenges. The immediate effect on the company's financials will likely be a decrease in operating expenses, potentially improving the net loss figures in the short term. However, investors should be aware of the possible long-term implications such as slowed progress in research and development efforts, which could delay future revenue-generating opportunities.

The biotechnology sector is highly competitive and reliant on continuous innovation and progress in clinical trials. Gritstone bio's workforce reduction might raise concerns among stakeholders regarding the company's ability to maintain its competitive edge in vaccine development. While the company's focus on gathering GRANITE data suggests a commitment to its core projects, the reduction of human resources could impact the pace and efficiency of these programs. Stakeholders should monitor the company's future disclosures on the progress of their vaccine development for a clearer assessment of the strategic impact of the workforce reduction.

In the context of clinical-stage biotechnology, delays in studies such as the CORAL Phase 2b can have significant implications for the company's pipeline. The workforce reduction may indicate a prioritization of resources towards the most promising projects, such as the GRANITE program. However, the reduced workforce could also potentially compromise the company's ability to execute on its research agenda and bring new vaccines to market. It is essential to consider the scientific and operational challenges that may arise from such a significant reduction in personnel, which could affect the company's future prospects in vaccine innovation.

EMERYVILLE, Calif., Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gritstone bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRTS), a clinical-stage biotechnology company working to develop the world’s most potent vaccines, today announced an approximately 40% reduction of its workforce. The move comes following the recently announced delay of the proposed CORAL Phase 2b study, which resulted in Gritstone not receiving external funding it previously anticipated beginning in 1Q 2024, associated with the initiation of the study. 

“The lack of near-term funding necessitated this difficult step to fortify our balance sheet and cash position, which unfortunately means an impact to our workforce,” said Andrew Allen, MD, PhD, Gritstone bio’s Co-founder, President & CEO. “I would like to express my sincere thanks to our departing employees for their contributions and reiterate our enthusiasm for the programs that they have helped build. We continue to gather GRANITE data, and remain excited about sharing our first dataset later this quarter.” 

Gritstone’s core programs and anticipated milestones remain unchanged. Preliminary data from Phase 2 portion of Phase 2/3 study evaluating GRANITE, Gritstone’s personalized cancer vaccine, in front-line metastatic, microsatellite-stable colorectal cancer (MSS-CRC), remain expected in 1Q 2024.  

About Gritstone bio 
Gritstone bio, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRTS) is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that aims to develop the world’s most potent vaccines. We leverage our innovative vectors and payloads to train multiple arms of the immune system to attack critical disease targets. Independently and with our collaborators, we are advancing a portfolio of product candidates to treat and prevent viral diseases and solid tumors in pursuit of improving patient outcomes and eliminating disease. www.gritstonebio.com  

Gritstone Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements related to our clinical and regulatory development plans, the Company’s priorities, the size and timing of Gritstone’s workforce reduction, the timing of the availability of Gritstone’s data from the Phase 2 portion of Phase 2/3 GRANITE trial, our expectations regarding the data to be derived in our ongoing and planned clinical trials; our ability to discover, develop, manufacture and advance product candidates into, and successfully complete, clinical trials, including, in particular, our next-generation COVID-19 vaccine. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause Gritstone’s research and clinical development programs, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the drug development process, including Gritstone’s programs’ clinical stage of development, the process of designing and conducting preclinical and clinical trials, the regulatory approval processes, the timing of regulatory filings, the challenges associated with manufacturing drug products, Gritstone’s ability to successfully establish, protect and defend its intellectual property and other matters that could affect the sufficiency of existing cash to fund operations. Gritstone undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of the company in general, see Gritstone’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 9, 2023 and any subsequent current and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Gritstone Contacts 
Investors: 
George E. MacDougall 
Gritstone bio, Inc. 
ir@gritstone.com  

Media: 
Dan Budwick 
1AB 
(973) 271-6085 
dan@1abmedia.com 


FAQ

Why did Gritstone bio, Inc. announce a reduction in workforce?

Gritstone bio, Inc. announced a reduction in workforce due to the delay in receiving external funding for the proposed CORAL Phase 2b study.

What percentage of workforce was reduced by Gritstone bio, Inc.?

Gritstone bio, Inc. reduced approximately 40% of its workforce.

Who is the CEO of Gritstone bio, Inc.?

Andrew Allen, MD, PhD, is the Co-founder, President & CEO of Gritstone bio, Inc.

What study faced a delay leading to the reduction in workforce at Gritstone bio, Inc.?

The proposed CORAL Phase 2b study faced a delay, impacting the workforce reduction at Gritstone bio, Inc.

When was the external funding anticipated by Gritstone bio, Inc.?

External funding anticipated beginning in 1Q 2024 was delayed, affecting the workforce reduction at Gritstone bio, Inc.

Gritstone bio, Inc.

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About GRTS

gritstone oncology is a cancer immunotherapy company developing next-generation personalized cancer therapeutics. gritstone brings together distinguished scientific founders, an experienced and diverse management team, a seasoned and successful board of directors, and very deep financial backing to tackle fundamental challenges at the intersection of cancer biology, immunology, and immunotherapy design. the company’s initial goal is to identify and deploy therapeutic neo-antigens from individual patients’ tumors to develop novel treatments for lung cancer. gritstone oncology is headquartered in the san francisco bay area with certain key functions located in cambridge, ma. gritstone oncology launched in october 2015 with a series a financing of $102 million.