Celladon Shutters Its R&D

Biotech firm likely to pull the plug after its gene therapy product fails.

Kerry Grens
Kerry Grens
Jun 26, 2015

WIKIMEDIA, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTHFollowing an announcement in April that its gene therapy product does not work, the San Diego-based biotech Celladon is halving its staff and suspending research and development operations.

“Celladon was once among the highest profile companies in the gene therapy space, developing a treatment for the common ailment of heart failure in contrast to the rare disease R&D that has largely dominated the field,” according to Fierce Biotech. “The plan now is to find a merger or sale that can salvage some value…”

Celladon’s therapy, Mydicar, used a viral vector to deliver the gene encoding an enzyme that ensures proper functioning of cardiomyocytes in patients with heart failure. However, when compared to a placebo, Mydicar did not prevent the progression of heart failure or hospitalizations.

“Our Board of Directors has unanimously determined that seeking a merger or sale, in lieu of further development of...