Exclusive: Engineered B cell therapy startup Walking Fish shuts down

Walking Fish Therapeutics, a biotech startup that attempted to create engineered B cell therapies, has shuttered, founder Rusty Williams confirmed to Endpoints News.

The South San Francisco biotech emerged in 2021 on the idea that scientists could turn B cells, which function like a factory that produces large amounts of proteins and antibodies, into therapeutics. It had 35 employees at its peak.

The company’s closure takes place at a time when biotech startups continue to weather a tough financing environment, which has led to other companies shutting down, layoffs and pipeline pruning. For companies raising capital for costly cell therapy trials, it’s especially difficult.

“The early trials in cell therapy are inefficient and expensive on per-patient cost,” Williams said.

Rusty Williams

Walking Fish was within two months of requesting FDA approval to start its first clinical trial testing a B…
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