Laid off employees
Laid off employees

LianBio, a Chinese biotech firm, has announced plans to wind down its operations following a four-month strategic review, resulting in the layoff of 50% of its workforce.

The decision to cease operations comes after the departure of both the CEO and CFO in December 2023, signaling significant internal challenges. Despite an acquisition offer from Concentra Biosciences, which LianBio’s board deemed inadequate, the company has opted to begin the process of winding down immediately.

In a statement released today, the Shanghai-based biotech disclosed its intention to sell off remaining assets, with the dissolution and asset sales expected to conclude by the end of the year. However, the complete dissolution of the company is not anticipated until closer to 2027.

LianBio has already initiated asset sales, including relinquishing China rights to the cardiovascular drug mavacamten to Bristol Myers Squibb and ceding rights to the radioenhancer NBTXR3 to Johnson & Johnson.

Proceeds from asset sales will be distributed among shareholders before the final dissolution. Nonetheless, the company cautioned that there is no guarantee of recovering original investments.

Additionally, the biotech plans to reduce its workforce further throughout the year, with a core team retained to oversee the wind-down process and maximize remaining asset value.

The company aims to delist shares from the Nasdaq by March 18, coinciding with a special cash dividend of $528 million to holders of its American depository shares.

Despite ending September with $252.2 million in cash and equivalents, LianBio initiated a strategic review following the sale of mavacamten rights to BMS in October. However, specific reasons for the decision were not disclosed.

The announcement follows similar steps taken by other biotechs, such as Vyant Bio, which recently disclosed plans to wind down operations and implement workforce reductions.