Surface Oncology announced Wednesday that it would trim its workforce by 20% as it pauses internal clinical development of SRF617, a novel antibody designed to inhibit CD39.

The clinical-stage immuno-oncology company said this decision would enable Surface to focus its resources on the advancement of two drug candidates, SRF388 and SRF114. Additionally, Surface is seeking out potential business development opportunities for SRF617. 

In its Q2 earnings report, Surface stated that SRF617 exhibited “strong affinity for and inhibition” of CD39 and that the drug had been granted Orphan Drug designation for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Surface management also stated that it now projects its financial runway is sufficient to get into Q2 2024.

“While we continue to believe SRF617 holds therapeutic potential in a variety of tumor types, we have made the strategic decision to pause internal development of that program and focus our efforts on SRF388 and SRF114,” Surface CEO Rob Ross, M.D. said in a statement. “As a result, we are implementing a corresponding reduction in our workforce. The work done by our impressive team of scientists and clinicians was outstanding, but we believe it is in the best interest of patients and our shareholders to invest our resources where they can have the greatest potential impact in the near term. We are actively pursuing partnership opportunities to advance SRF617 outside of Surface.”

The company made the announcement as part of the release of its Q3 2022 earnings report, highlighted by a net loss of $23.2 million. 

Surface’s cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities totaled $146.4 million during the quarter, marking a decline of nearly $8 million year-over-year. Additionally, the company’s research and development expenses rose to $16 million, primarily due to expenses incurred for the Phase 1 clinical trial of SRF388 and the Phase 2 clinical trial of SRF617.