Report: Tolerx Folds Its Tent, After $150M in Investment and a Failed Diabetes Drug Trial

10/7/11Follow @xconomy

Tolerx, a once promising Boston biotech with a novel drug in development for diabetes, has reached the end of the road. The Cambridge, MA-based company is winding down operations, according to a report today in FierceBiotech.

The company, which raised more than $150 million in a decade in business, hit the rocks back in March when it said its experimental antibody for Type-1 diabetes failed to reach its goal in a pivotal clinical trial of 272 patients. Tolerx has handed over the drug, otelixizumab, to its partner GlaxoSmithKline, and has begun liquidating other assets via auction, FierceBiotech said. Tolerx is now operating with a small staff, having let most of its employees go in two rounds of layoffs this year, FierceBiotech said. Tolerx had about 70 employees when I profiled it in March 2010.

Tolerx CEO Doug Ringler didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment this morning.

Investors in Tolerx include HealthCare Ventures, Skyline Ventures, and Sprout Group. The company has also received support from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. GlaxoSmithKline formed a partnership with Tolerx back in 2007 to co-develop the drug, which could have been worth as much as $760 million over time to the smaller company if the treatment had met its goals.

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