As a result of an in-depth review of the company's research & development portfolio, InVivo Therapeutics (Cambridge, Massachusetts) said it is realigning resources behind its novel Neuro-Spinal Scaffold and the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold Plus Stem Cells program for spinal cord injury (SCI). Resources currently deployed towards InVivo's hydrogel drug delivery program will be eliminated. The hydrogel platform was at an early stage of preclinical development, and substantial financial and human resources would have been required to address technical and competitive challenges and to advance any drug delivery product to the partnering stage or into the clinic. The company indicated that one element of the hydrogel platform will be further explored, the potential of hydrogel for cell delivery, as part of an expanded biomaterials development program for the delivery of stem cells.

In announcing the refocusing of the company's R&D resources, InVivo added that it is making a reduction in force (RIF) of 14 employees, or 28% of its workforce. The RIF and the shifting of R&D resources is expected to result in annualized savings of about $3 million and to reduce cash expenditures by approximately 23% compared to 2013 levels. With these savings, InVivo anticipates that existing funds will be sufficient to support its planned activities through March 2016.

"Although reducing staff size and eliminating the hydrogel drug delivery program were difficult decisions, InVivo's focus will be even stronger on the company's core mission: developing meaningful treatments for spinal cord injury," CEO Mark Perrin said. "Going forward, all of the company's resources and efforts will be centered on the development of the Neuro-Spinal Scaffold for acute SCI and Scaffolds Plus Stem Cells for the treatment of chronic SCI. This focus will allow InVivo to advance the spinal cord injury programs without distraction and in a more financially efficient manner. Developing effective spinal cord injury treatments is a challenging task, and our renewed focus maximizes the potential for patients and shareholders to benefit from the major advancements that have been and continue to be made by the InVivo team."

InVivo is a biomaterials and biotechnology company with a focus on treatment of spinal cord injuries. //