Erasca revamps pipeline, laying off staff as it licenses cancer drugs from China and nabs $160M

Erasca is looking for a refresh as it drops several early-stage cancer assets, picks up new ones from China and raises cash to help push its lead candidate to the finish line.

The San Diego biotech said late Thursday that it is deprioritizing its ERK 1/2 inhibitor ERAS-007 and pan-KRAS candidate ERAS-4. As for the EFGR inhibitor ERAS-801, patient enrolment will be paused according to Mizuho analysts, citing a conversation with Erasca execs, but Erasca said the drug will be further explored in investigator-led trials.

The company said it will also lay off 18% of its workforce, notably staffers in its drug discovery unit and ones working on the deprioritized candidates. At the end of February, it had 126 full-time employees, with 90 people in R&D.

As for its new assets, it is licensing one preclinical program each from China-based companies Joyo…
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