CytRx guns for a reset, rebranding as LadRx after a tough few years and a CEO change in January

Biotech name changes are the rage this September. CytRx has become the third life science company to rebrand.

Say goodbye to CytRx Corporation and hello to LadRx Corporation as the biotech looks to shrug of years of trial setbacks and embrace a new leader and a new, and earlier, clinical focus.

Stephen Snowdy, M.D., took over as CEO in January after a tough few years for the company. Back in 2016, the biotech’s shares imploded when its only clinical-stage drug, aldoxorubicin, failed to hit the mark in a phase 3 soft tissue sarcoma trial. 

A year later, in 2017, CytRx decided to out-license aldoxorubicin to ImmunityBio, which shifted the focus to solid tumors such as brain, breast and pancreatic cancers, while CytRx was in line to nab royalties and milestone payments on the med, should it gain approval, worth up to $343 million. 

After handing over development work for aldoxorubicin, the biotech was left with no clinical assets and an uncertain future. This year, the biotech changed its CEO: Snowdy parachuted in this January and took over what once was a clinical biotech but now one that has four very early-stage meds. The preclinical candidates all act on cancer targets known as LADRs 7, 8, 9 and 10.

These LADRs are "linker activated drug releases" and can be attached to traditional chemo meds to boost their efficacy. In the end, the biotech simply wedded LAD and the shorthand for prescription and got its new name, LadRx. 

The company now has a new website at and will continue to trade under the "CYTR" ticker until a new symbol is approved.

LadRx becomes the third biotech to rename itself this month. Just last week, smoking cessation health tech company Respira, tired of competing with so many similarly named companies and drugs, rebranded to Qnovia to differentiate its business.

That came a week after COVID drugmaker Adagio changed its name to Invivyd, a decision it made amid a series of setbacks in its pipeline this year.