Biopharma Layoff Tracker 2023: Orna, Kite, Candel and More Cut Staff
2022 saw myriad ups and downs in terms of the economy, and as it ebbed and flowed, so too did the job market. This trend has continued throughout 2023.
The year kicked off with mass layoffs in the tech industry, leaving many wondering if the same was in store for the biopharma industry. Fortunately, though layoff announcements have been steady, the biotech sector has not seen nearly the same troughs.
BioSpace will continue to be your source of news on job cuts and restructuring initiatives through 2023. Follow along as we keep you up to date on which companies are tightening their belts and cutting staff.
Startup Orna Therapeutics has laid off an unspecified number of staff, Endpoints News reports. Orna CEO Tom Barnes told Endpoints in an email that the layoff was “defensive” and affected under one-quarter of the staff. He said the move would ensure the company can bring its lead product “to a meaningful clinical inflection point without needing to be reliant on capital markets.” That candidate therapy, ORN-101, consists of circular RNA delivered via lipid nanoparticles to treat tumors.
“In some cases, we are also making the decision to reduce the number of roles in certain areas of our business that are not aligned to our refreshed strategic priorities and in areas where there may be more efficient ways to achieve those priorities, which may impact some team members,” Cindy Perettie, executive vice president at Kite, told Fierce.
A Gilead spokesperson, however, told the publication that 90 new roles are being created “that are better aligned with the organization’s focus,” resulting in a net impact of 5%.
Mass.–based Candel Therapeutics is laying off approximately half of its workforce in order to prioritize topline readouts for its lead program, CAN-2409, in non-small cell lung, pancreatic and prostate cancers, all expected in 2024. The strategic restructuring plan will also support continued development of CAN-3110, being developed to treat recurrent high-grade glioma, according to the announcement.
Candel currently has 84 employees, per its LinkedIn page.
In a company-wide reorganization, Vancouver, BC–based biotech AbCellera Biologics is parting with around 10% of its employees. AbCellera announced the layoffs in a regulatory filing Tuesday, where it stated the restructuring is aimed at increasing its focus on the clinical development of its therapeutic antibodies, according to Seeking Alpha.
With its proprietary antibody discovery and development engine, AbCellera touts the ability to generate a wide range of diverse antibodies, express and test hundreds of antibodies with robust characterization and developability assessment, as well as downselect to reveal functional and developable leads. AbCellera currently has 582 employees, according to its LinkedIn page.
The biotech revealed in August that its electric field-based treatment had failed to meet the primary endpoint in a Phase III ovarian cancer study. According to the new announcement, Novocure is now prioritizing readiness to launch the treatment for metastatic non-small cell lung cancer after anticipated approval, as well as for trials on brain metastases and solid tumors.
In an SEC filing dated Nov. 27, Generation Bio announced it would lay off around 40% of its workforce. The move, which will also see the departure of the biotech’s chief medical officer, Douglas Kerr, and chief development officer, Tracy Zimmermann, is expected to extend the company’s cash runway into the second half of 2027.
The reorganization is intended to allow the gene therapy company to expand its cell-targeted lipid nanoparticle (ctLNP) delivery system to targets beyond the liver, according to a press release. “We believe there is a clear path to developing our own programs using ctLNP to reach extrahepatic targets and are realigning our investments to support this,” CEO Geoff McDonough said in a statement.
858 Therapeutics, a San Diego–based biotech developing small-molecule drugs for cancer and other conditions, is laying off an unspecified number of staff and closing its New York office, according to a company statement reported by Fierce Biotech.
858 exited stealth mode two years ago with $60 million in Series A funding. It announced at the time that it had acquired New York–based Gotham Therapeutics, and that it planned “to significantly scale up the size of its team to around 40 people within the next year and a half.”
Atreca, which focuses on antibody-drug conjugates, underwent previous rounds of layoffs in 2022 and earlier this year and said in September that it was terminating the lease on its San Carlos, California headquarters in order to cut costs. The company reported to the SEC that it had 90 employees as of the end of last year.
Pfizer is planning to lay off around 500 of its staffers and terminate its Pharmaceutical Sciences Small Molecule functions at its facility in Sandwich, Kent in the U.K., according to several media reports on Tuesday.
The business scale-back comes amid Pfizer’s sweeping cost-reduction plan announced last month, which will see the company generate $3.5 billion in savings through 2024.
Theseus Pharmaceuticals announced Monday it is laying off 72% of its staff—about 26 people, Endpoint News reported. Among those let go is President of R&D William C. Shakespeare, who will stay on as a consultant until the middle of next year.
Theseus, which focuses on developing cancer therapies, announced in July that it was terminating development of THE-630 after the candidate was found to have dose-limiting toxicities in a Phase I/II trial for gastrointestinal stromal tumors. According to Monday’s announcement about the layoffs, “As part of this process, the Company plans to consider a wide range of options with a focus on maximizing shareholder value, including potential sale of assets of the Company, a sale of the Company, a merger or other strategic action.”
Orbital Therapeutics, a spin-out of Beam Therapeutics that aims to develop RNA-based vaccines and therapeutics, is closing its South San Francisco office and laying off 16 people, Endpoints News reports.
“Orbital has made the strategic decision to close our South San Francisco site and will scale our operations and expand our team in Cambridge. We are grateful for the dedication and contributions of our impacted colleagues,” the company said in a statement to Endpoints.
Thermo Fisher will lay off 97 employees in the new year when it closes its plants in Auburn, Alabama, according to a WARN notice reported by Endpoints News. The outlet notes that the move follows multiple other layoffs this year at Thermo Fisher facilities across the U.S.
SQZ Biotechnologies is reducing its workforce by approximately 80%, the company noted Wednesday in its third-quarter earnings release. The cell therapy company has between 51–200 employees, according to its LinkedIn page. In July, Roche announced that it would not expand a years-long collaboration with SQZ around products to target HPV16-positive solid tumors, despite positive preliminary Phase I results released earlier this year.
Regenxbio is reducing its workforce by 15%, the company announced Wednesday. Regenxbio said the restructuring will extend its cash runway into 2025 and that it will prioritize its candidate treatments for wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and mucopolysaccharidosis type II. The staffing cuts will come “primarily in rare neurodegenerative disease development, early research, and other general and administrative areas,” according to the announcement. Regenxbio has between 201–500 employees, according to its LinkedIn page.
Lyell Immunopharma will reduce its workforce by approximately 25%, the company announced on Tuesday, with Chief Medical Officer Tina Albertson among those to part ways with the company. “We have restructured our company to prioritize investment in our clinical-stage programs and core research platforms and have streamlined operations,” said Lyell President and CEO Lynn Seely in the announcement. The company had reported having 274 employees as of the end of 2022.
Endpoints News noted that Lyell, which specializes in T-cell cancer therapies, was valued at more than $4 billion when it went public in 2021 but is now worth about $550 million. A year ago, GSK terminated a deal with the company to discover and develop T-cell therapies using Lyell’s technologies.
Arbutus Biopharma is cutting 24% of its staff, the company announced Tuesday along with updates on its candidate therapies to functionally cure chronic hepatitis B. Separately, the company announced that its CEO, William Collier, will retire at the end of this year, and that Arbutus Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Michael J. McElhaugh will serve as interim CEO. Arbutus has between 51–200 employees, according to its LinkedIn profile.
Pyxis Oncology is cutting its headcount by approximately 40%, the company announced on Tuesday. According to the announcement, the layoffs and other cost-cutting measures will extend the company’s cash runway to early 2026 as it prioritizes two candidates currently in Phase I trials, antibody-drug conjugate PYX-201 and immune-oncology therapeutic PYX-106.
According to its LinkedIn page, Pyxis currently has between 51–100 employees.
Pfizer is cutting about 100 jobs at its manufacturing plant in Newbridge, Kildare, Ireland as part of its drive to cut $3.5 billion in costs. The move, reported by Fierce Pharma, the Irish Independent, and other outlets, comes as the company says it plans to expand at other sites in Ireland, adding 230 positions in Dublin and Cork.
Pfizer is laying off around 200 employees at its manufacturing facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan amid declining sales for its COVID-19 products, according to television station Fox 17. Friday’s news comes as the company struggles to regain its financial footing from the sharp decline in its COVID-19 business. In an attempt to weather the downturn, Pfizer last month launched a widespread cost-cutting initiative designed to generate $3.5 billion in savings through 2024.
Locanabio, a company that aimed to develop RNA-editing therapies, will shutter by the end of the year, CEO Jim Burns announced on LinkedIn Thursday. “While we continue to believe in the potential of our RNA-targeted gene therapy platform to deliver transformative therapies, the decision was made due to the time and capital required to deliver clinical data in the current challenging funding environment,” he wrote. The closure was confirmed by Fierce Biotech. Locanabio, based in San Diego, has between 51–200 employees, according to its LinkedIn profile.
Kronos Bio will reduce its staff by 19%, the company announced Thursday just after releasing positive preliminary Phase I/II trial data on its antitumor candidate KB-0742. The company also has a therapy, lanraplenib, in development for FLT3-mutated acute myeloid leukemia. “By streamlining our operations and extending our runway, we best position the company to optimally fund our KB-0742 clinical studies while continuing to focus on the clinical development of lanraplenib, the advancement of our maturing discovery projects, and our collaboration with Genentech,” said Kronos CEO Norbert Bischofberger in the company’s statement.
According to an SEC filing, Kronos had 97 employees at the beginning of this year. The company said its restructuring will extend its cash runway into 2026.
Seres Therapeutics will undergo a restructuring that includes reducing its workforce by 41%—approximately 160 positions—the company announced Thursday as it touted positive sales data for its microbiome therapeutic, Vowst. “Given the realities of this challenging financial environment for biopharmaceutical companies, we believe that concentrating our resources on VOWST offers an attractive opportunity for targeted revenue growth, while operating in a more capital efficient manner,” said Seres President and CEO Eric Shaff in the statement.
According to the announcement, Seres will prioritize Vowst’s commercial launch going forward, as well as an ongoing Phase IB study on the microbiome therapeutic candidate SER-155. It will scale back “all non-partnered R&D programs and activities.”
Rani Therapeutics will cut its workforce by 25%, the company announced Wednesday. The company, which is developing orally administered biologics, will halt or pause development of several of its candidate therapies while moving others into Phase I or II trials and expanding its manufacturing capabilities. According to the announcement, the cost-cutting measures will extend its cash runway into 2025. Rani has between 51–200 employees, according to its LinkedIn profile.
Sangamo Therapeutics is shuttering its Brisbane, California headquarters and cutting its U.S. workforce by approximately 162 people—40% of its total headcount—the company announced Wednesday. Among those to be let go are Chief Operating Officer D. Mark McClung and Chief Scientific Officer Jason Fontenot.
As part of the restructuring, Sangamo will transition its headquarters to its Richmond, California facility and cease investment for now in its investigative treatment for Fabry disease and in CAR-Treg cell therapy as it searches for partners to continue development of those programs. The company will instead focus on “epigenetic regulation therapies treating neurological diseases and novel AAV capsid delivery technologies,” according to the announcement. Sangamo expects that the restructuring will cut its operating expenses in half, allowing its funds to stretch into the third quarter of 2024.
Galapagos and Alfasigma have signed a letter of intent to transfer Galapagos’s Jyseleca (filgotinib) to Alfasigma. The potential deal, announced by Galapagos on Monday, would involve the transfer of approximately 400 employees to Alfasigma, while 100 others would be laid off. “Looking ahead, the planned transaction is expected to free up significant resources across the organization, enabling us to invest more in our R&D growth areas, business development and M&A,” said Galapagos CEO and Chairman Paul Stoffels in the company’s announcement.
Jyseleca is marketed in Europe and Japan for rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis. Earlier this year, it failed to meet primary endpoints in a Phase III trial for Crohn’s disease.
“Pfizer is in the process of closing its Peapack, New Jersey facility that will go in effect in early 2024,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to BioSpace. “The vast majority of colleagues will be re-assigned to Pfizer’s New York headquarters at 66 Hudson Yards with a small portion transitioning to the company’s Parsippany, NJ site. This follows a previously communicated decision in 2021 of plans to sell the Peapack campus.” The spokesperson added that if employees do not want to be reassigned to a different site, their employment will terminate.
The facility closure coincides with the company’s announcement two weeks ago that it will be cutting $3.5 billion in costs due to disappointing sales of the COVID-19 therapeutic Paxlovid, as well as the Comirnaty vaccine. New Jersey is far from the only site to feel the effects of the cuts; Fierce Pharma notes that Pfizer has also announced the closure of two facilities in North Carolina and reported an unspecified number of layoffs in Colorado.
Correction (Oct. 30): This story has been updated from its original version to reflect the fact that 791 employees are not being laid off in New Jersey, but rather are being transferred to new work sites. BioSpace regrets the error.
ElevateBio is cutting 13% of its workforce, a company spokesperson told Fierce Biotech Thursday. The Massachusetts-based company is involved in gene editing, RNA, cell, vector engineering, protein and induced pluripotent stem cell technologies; it is not clear how many employees it has. The cuts, to staff involved in the company’s preclinical work, come despite a $401 million Series D financing round that closed in May.
“Our financial position and balance sheet are very strong and we are experiencing robust customer and revenue growth,” the spokesperson told Fierce Biotech.
The layoffs will affect Horizon roles that overlap with existing teams at Amgen, a company spokesperson told Fierce Pharma. More than 80% of Horizon’s staff will be absorbed into Amgen roles, “reflecting the knowledge and capabilities we need to continue serving patients suffering from rare diseases,” a spokesperson for the California-based biopharma said. At the end of 2022, Horizon had more than 2,100 employees, according to an SEC filing.
This is Amgen’s third round of layoffs this year.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics will lay off 30% of its staff, the Israel and New York–based company announced Tuesday. The cost-cutting measure narrows the company’s focus in the wake of a vote by an FDA advisory committee last month against approving its amyotrophic lateral sclerosis candidate NurOwn, and BrainStorm’s subsequent decision to withdraw its Biologics License Application and conduct a Phase IIIb clinical trial on the therapy.
According to the company’s announcement, the layoffs are part of “a strategic realignment to enable accelerated development of NurOwn.” Among those let go is EVP and Chief Medical Officer Kirk Taylor, whose responsibilities included leading launch activities.
As of June 30, BrainStorm reported that it had 44 employees between the U.S. and Israel.
Idorsia Pharmaceuticals has reduced the workforce at its headquarters in Switzerland by half, the company announced on Tuesday. “Approximately 475 positions at headquarters in Allschwil, Switzerland, have been made redundant through a combination of canceling open positions, not replacing people who are known to leave (outside the mass dismissal), and up to 300 terminations mainly in Research & Development and the associated support functions,” the announcement states.
Endpoints News noted that sales of Idorsia’s insomnia drug, Quviviq, have so far been disappointing. According to the company’s announcement, its cash runway now extends into next year. “Our short-term priority is to further extend our cash runway and we are actively reviewing all avenues including potential out-license deals with a few balls in the air that we expect to catch in the upcoming months,” Chief Financial Officer André C. Muller said in the statement.
Base-editing company Beam Therapeutics will lay off about 100 employees—20% of its workforce—it announced on Thursday. The move is part of a restructuring plan aimed at funding the company into 2026. Beam’s priorities going forward will include development of its sickle cell disease programs, a base editor to treat alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and in vivo editing to treat liver disorders, while its hepatitis B program “will be paused and designated for partnering,” according to the announcement. Reuters reported that shares of the company declined by 2.4% in premarket trading Thursday.
Cell therapy company Nkarta is laying off 18 people, about 10% of its staff, it revealed in an SEC filing. The morning after the filing, the company announced that the FDA has cleared its Investigational New Drug application for NKX019, its CAR NK cell therapy candidate for lupus nephritis. The announcement also notes “cost containment measures designed to extend its projected cash runway by one year into 2026.” Nkarta President and CEO Paul Hastings told Fierce Biotech that the workforce cuts will take place “across the board,” in accordance with the company’s aim to focus on its later-stage programs.
Nkarta’s stock price rose by 112% following its announcement of the FDA clearance, Fierce Biotech reported.
Pfizer said the “multi-year, enterprise-wide cost realignment program” will involve layoffs, though it is still unclear how many employees will be affected. As of August 1, Pfizer employed approximately 83,000 people worldwide.
Sana Biotechnology will lay off 29% of its workforce—approximately 120 people—as part of a portfolio realignment initiative, the company announced on Tuesday. Sana will narrow its R&D focus to its ex vivo cell therapy platform and move away from an in vivo gene delivery program with an eye toward reducing its 2024 operating cash burn to below $200 million. According to the company, this will allow Sana’s current cash runway to extend further into 2025 while also providing leeway for investments in clinical capabilities across various indications.
Tuesday’s downsizing follows a previous round of layoffs in August, which was first revealed through a series of LinkedIn posts made by company employees. Sana later confirmed the downsizing to Endpoints News, but did not disclose exactly how many were let go. The biotech also underwent a strategic reorganization in November 2022, which included a workforce reduction of around 15%.
Biogen is laying off 113 employees from Reata Pharmaceuticals' Plano, Texas site, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice. The layoffs, set to take effect in late November, come just months after Biogen acquired Reata for $7.3 billion in July 2023.
At the time, Biogen had just launched a sweeping cost-reduction program that involved terminating around 1,000 employees in an effort to save $1 billion in operating expenses by 2025. Late last month, Biogen completed the acquisition of Reata. At the end of 2022, Reata had 321 employees, according to its annual report to the SEC.
Eikon Therapeutics has laid off some of its staff in a bid for efficiency, Fierce Biotech reported. The outlet obtained an Oct. 5 internal letter to staff from Eikon CEO Roger Perlmutter that reads in part, “As I discussed at the all-hands meeting last month, our recent success in advancing new programs requires that we become more selective in allocating our resources,” and “the plain fact is that our company, like all companies, must evolve to become more efficient.”
Eikon, which emerged from stealth in 2021, uses live-cell super-resolution microscopy and engineering for drug development, but Fierce Biotech calls it “famously tight-lipped about the discovery process.” The company has a Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonist in a Phase I trial to treat advanced solid tumors, and last month announced that it has integrated TLR 7 and 8 co-agonists into its clinical development program and that it plans to begin a Phase I trial on its PARP1 inhibitor—another experimental cancer drug developed with Impact Therapeutics—this year.
North Carolina-based gene therapy biotech Atsena Therapeutics recently laid off an undisclosed number of employees to conserve cash, multiple sources reported Thursday. Atsena has also raised about $24.5 million of a targeted $32 million in an insider-led Series B round, the company told Endpoints News. Atsena is expecting data from a Phase I/II trial of its lead program, ATSN-101, targeting the retinal disease Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) by the end of this year, Endpoints reported. It kicked off another Phase I/II trial of a second gene therapy, ATSN-201, for RS1-associated X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS)—a rare congenital retinal disease—in August.
uniQure is laying off 114 people, about 20% of its total workforce, the gene therapy company announced Thursday. The company “will discontinue more than half of its research and technology projects, including AMT-210 for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and multiple undisclosed programs,” according to the announcement, while focusing on AAV capsid development and treatments in development for ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. uniQure will also continue several clinical-stage programs, including an investigational treatment for Huntington’s currently in Phase I/II trials.
The company said the moves will save $180 million, extending its cash runway into 2027. As part of the restructuring, Chief Scientific Officer Ricardo Dolmetsch is leaving the company, and uniQure executive Richard Porter will assume a new role as chief business and scientific officer.
Kezar Life Sciences is laying off 41% of its workforce and its CEO and chief medical officer will step down as part of a restructuring, the company announced Tuesday. Kezar has paused all of its research and drug discovery efforts, according to the announcement, as it focuses on shoring up enough funds for its Phase IIb clinical trial of the experimental drug zetomipzomib in lupus nephritis. The company anticipates having top-line data from that trial in mid-2026, with data from its Phase I trial of a drug for solid tumors and a Phase IIa trial of zetomipzomib in autoimmune hepatitis expected in the meantime.
Company co-founder and member of the board Christopher Kirk will replace fellow co-founder John Fowler as CEO, and Zung To, the current senior vice president for clinical development operations, will step into the role of chief medical officer.
Syros Pharmaceuticals is laying off 35% of its workforce, and its CEO and chief science officer are also departing, the company announced Monday. Syros said it is ending a Phase I trial of a potential treatment for a type of leukemia, as well as earlier-stage work on that drug, to focus on tamibarotene, another blood cancer treatment that is currently in Phase II and III trials.
CEO Nancy Simonian, who has led the company since 2012, will retire in December, the company said, but she will remain on the board of directors. Replacing her will be Conley Chee, currently Syros’ chief commercial officer and chief business officer. Chief Scientific Officer Eric Olson will depart the company later this month. Syros had 117 employees as of the end of 2022, according to its most recent SEC filing.
PTC Therapeutics announced Thursday it is laying off a further 25% of its workforce. The move continues a restructuring the company began in May, when PTC laid off 8% of its employees and announced that it would discontinue several early-stage gene therapy development programs. Thursday’s announcement notes that the company “continues to focus its resources on its differentiated, high potential R&D programs and on support of the robust global commercial infrastructure.” It adds that PTC will submit a re-examination request regarding a recent decision by the EU’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) recommending against renewal of conditional authorization for Translarna for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
In its most recent annual filing, at the end of 2022, PTC reported that it had 1,410 employees.
Denmark–based biotech Galecto is searching for strategic alternatives after its lead lung disease asset failed the primary efficacy endpoint in a mid-stage trial in August. On Tuesday, the company announced it would lay off approximately 70% of its workforce—which equates to about 30 people. As part of its business evaluation, Galecto is also considering a number of opportunities, including an acquisition, merger, business combination or divestiture of assets, technologies or capabilities.
Following the Phase IIb trial failure, Galecto announced it would discontinue development of GB0139, which was being developed for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The company also stated it was re-evaluating its options and resource allocation plans “with the goal of extending our cash runway into 2025.”
In a “workforce realignment,” AM-Pharma announced Tuesday it has completed a workforce reduction but did not provide specific numbers. The Netherlands–based biopharma is also switching it up at the top, with Juliane Bernholz—currently chief operating officer—succeeding Erik van den Berg as CEO.
These moves come nearly a year after AM-Pharma halted a pivotal Phase III trial of its recombinant alkaline phosphatase, ilofotase alfa, in sepsis-associated acute kidney injury after it failed the primary endpoint of rate of all-cause deaths at 28 days.
French biopharma Poxel is seeking new financing to initiate Phase II proof-of-concept studies for its adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) assets, PXL770 and PXL065, and to “execute its rare diseases strategy.”
In the same announcement, the company disclosed that its headcount now stands at 15 employees, which compares to 37 at the end of December 2022 and 16 at the end of August, according to reporting by Endpoints News. Poxel is also taking a $17.6 million impairment, which “aims to best reflect the current value of PXL065” and takes into account the need to “obtain additional financing to pursue its development plan in NASH [non-alcoholic steatohepatitis] or ALD,” along with its current market capitalization and the macroeconomic context in which the company operates.
It took more than four months, but ImmunityBio is laying off 48 staffers after failing to win approval in May for its bladder cancer therapy. The layoffs, which were revealed in a Sept. 19 California WARN notice, affect employees at the company’s El Segundo, California site, as well as remote workers who report to that site, Fierce Biotech reported on Friday.
In May, the company, headed by Patrick Soon-Shiong, had received a Complete Response Letter for the bladder cancer hopeful in which the FDA cited deficiencies with its third-party contract manufacturer. It’s also the biopharma’s second round of layoffs in less than a year. In October 2022, ImmunityBio parted with 30 employees due to “economic reasons” at a New York facility that was expected to expand the company’s manufacturing footprint.
On Sept. 11, the company announced it had taken on a $200 million convertible debt note from Nant Entities, an affiliate associated with Soon-Shiong, its founder, executive chair and global chief scientific and medical officer.
NightHawk Biosciences is flying in a different direction as it turfs its R&D business in favor of its contract development and manufacturing organization, Scorpius Biomanufacturing. The plan will see NightHawk part with 13 employees in the R&D business, the equivalent of 14% of its workforce. The company believes the pivot “represent(s) its best opportunity for success” and said in an SEC filing that the layoffs, which will take place immediately, are expected to save $1.8 million in annual compensation.
Scorpius—a Texas-based CDMO specializing in mammalian, microbial and cell- and gene-based therapies—brought in $700,000 during the second quarter of 2023, Fierce Biotech reported, while the R&D business cost NightHawk $5.7 million in the same timeframe, according to the company’s Q2 business update.
After a fresh start as Fresh Tracks Therapeutics a year ago, the company formerly known as Brickell Biotech will shut its doors for good. Fresh Tracks will discontinue all of its clinical and preclinical development programs and lay off “most employees” by early October, according to a statement issued Tuesday. The Colorado–based company had undertaken an “extensive” search for strategic alternatives, following which the Board of Directors decided to liquidate and dissolve the outfit. Certain employees, consultants and advisors will remain to oversee the wind-down of the company.
Fresh Tracks officially changed its name in September 2022 to reflect its strategic shift toward developing groundbreaking autoimmune and inflammatory disease therapies.
Histogen is history. The San Diego–based biotech, which is focused on treating infectious diseases, announced that “after extensive consideration of potential strategic alternatives,” it will close its doors. Accordingly, Histogen is discontinuing all clinical development programs and will let most employees go by the end of September.
“The Board of Directors and management devoted substantial time and effort in identifying and pursuing various opportunities, but we were unable to complete a transaction that would allow us the potential to enhance stockholder value,” Steven J. Mento, president and CEO of Histogen, said in a statement.
Bay area-based Kinnate Biopharma is undertaking a “reprioritization and workforce restructuring” plan that will reduce by 70% its current employees. The review, which considers the company’s cash runway, near-term pipeline value creation prospects, the evolving regulatory landscape for targeted therapies and other factors, will see Kinnate left with 28 full-time staff members, according to a press release issued Monday. The layoffs include all employees at Kinnate’s Chinese subsidiary, Kinnjiu Biopharma.
The cancer-focused company will focus its attention on KIN-8741, an exarafenib/binimetinib combination being developed for a range of solid tumors where c-MET is overexpressed, and its brain-penetrant CDK4 selective program, for which it plans to nominate a candidate in the fourth quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, it has paused development of KIN-7136, a brain-penetrant MEK inhibitor for MAPK pathway-driven solid tumors.
Nearly two months after Lyndra Therapeutics replaced CEO Patricia Hurter with Executive President and Chief Operations Officer Jessica Ballinger, the Watertown, Mass.–based company is laying off nearly a quarter of its staff, Endpoints News reported. The layoffs are the result of the company’s decision to outsource commercial manufacturing and partner on both the development and commercialization of “all future products,” a spokesperson told Endpoints on Friday. Lyndra, which in 2019 teamed up with Gilead to develop and market ultra-long-acting oral HIV therapies, is expecting a top-line data readout from a pivotal trial of its long-lasting schizophrenia drug in “the next weeks,” the spokesperson said, “and we feel these changes will set us up to successfully navigate the regulatory pathway ahead and ultimately bring oral weekly medications to patients.”
A “convergence” of factors led to the announcement that 2seventy bio will lay off approximately 40% of its staff in a sweeping reorganization that includes the departure of CEO Nick Leschly. On an investor call Tuesday, Leschly cited the “difficult and unpredictable macro environment” as the rationale behind the decision but added that delays experienced by the company’s later-stage programs and “complicated Abecma commercial dynamic” were also factors. Abcema is 2seventy’s approved treatment for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. The company will also advance fewer pipeline programs, according to the announcement.
The workforce reduction—which represents 176 roles—is expected to generate an annualized cost savings of at least $65 million.
Israel–based Enlivex Therapeutics is doubling down on its inflammatory and autoimmune indications—and tagging its oncology programs for either external collaborations or out-licensing—resulting in a 50% workforce reduction. In a press release issued Monday, Enlivex stated it expects the cuts and reclassification of the oncology indications to extend its cash runway through the end of 2025. As part of this push, the company has initiated a new program in osteoarthritis after preclinical evidence from its most advanced candidate, Allocetra, showed promise in this indication. Enlivex’s most advanced program is in organ failure associated with sepsis.
CSL Vifor will be 85 employees lighter at its California location as of Oct. 25. CSL Vifor—which was established following the completion of CSL’s $11.7B acquisition of Vifor Pharma in August 2022—revealed the cuts in a California WARN notice. The addition brought Vifor’s iron deficiency and kidney disease portfolios under CSL’s extensive umbrella.
The layoffs are the result of a strategic review that found changes to the U.S. commercial business were required "in light of [CSL Vifor's] current portfolio of marketed products and near to mid-term prospects to deliver cost, revenue and growth synergies,” a company spokesperson told Fierce Pharma in an email.
The hits just keep coming for Infinity Pharmaceuticals, which in July laid off approximately 78% of its workforce—or 21 employees—after the company’s planned merger with MEI Pharma broke down. On Friday, Infinity’s depleted board—the company reduced its board members from eight to five in July—terminated CEO Adelene Perkins and Chief Medical Officer Robert Ilaria Jr. as part of the ongoing restructuring plan, Seeking Alpha reported. Another three employees were also let go. As of Sept. 5, Infinity’s website lists Seth Tasker as CEO and the lone member of the leadership team.
The Labor Day long weekend began on a sour note for more than half of the employees at Maryland–based NexImmune. The biotech, which is developing immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases, announced it will lay off approximately 53% of its staff, turning a workforce of 47 full-time employees into one of just 22 as of September 5. The move was designed to reduce costs and extend the company’s cash, according to the announcement. The departures include chief financial officer John Trainer, whose final day was listed as September 2.
“The workforce reduction protects our core capabilities to advance novel therapeutic candidates and our multiplex validation of functional antigen-specific T cell responses while giving us additional flexibility to manage our business,” CEO Kristi Jones said in the announcement.
On the cusp of receiving its first clinical data—for SC291, a CD19-targeted allogeneic CAR T cell therapy—Sana Biotechnology is laying off an undisclosed number of its staff.
The revelation is based on about half a dozen LinkedIn posts recently made by Sana employees, according to Endpoints News, which reported the layoffs on Thursday.
“Due to company restructuring and downsizing, my role, and the role of many of my incredible colleagues, have been eliminated,” Cole Delyea, a senior research associate, posted on the business networking platform. In an email to Endpoints, a Sana spokesperson confirmed that it had found “operating efficiencies within a single area of research.”
The FDA cleared Sana’s IND application for SC291 in January.
After winning approval for Zurzuvae (zuranolone) in postpartum depression (PPD) but failing to secure the larger prize of a major depression nod, Sage Therapeutics CEO Barry Greene said the company was evaluating a workforce reorganization. Thursday, that came to fruition as the Cambridge, Mass.–based biotech announced it would lay off approximately 40% of its staff. The move is intended to “right-size” the organization and enable commercial hires necessary for a fourth-quarter launch of Zurzuvae in PPD, according to the press release. Along with the workforce cuts, Sage announced that CSO Al Robichaud and Jim Doherty, chief development officer, will be departing the company.
Apellis Pharmaceuticals will let go 225 employees, or 25% of its staff, the company announced on Monday. Coming off stock drops following safety concerns over its recently approved eye injection Syfovre--which turned out to be related to the needle used to deliver the medicine, not the drug itself--Apellis stated that it's looking to save money in the near-term to achieve "long-term success." The company is also facing competition from Astellas, whose eye therapy Izervay was approved earlier this month.
Pfizer is laying off 69 employees at a plant in Lake Forest, IL, according to a July WARN notice from the state, though some employees may be able to transition to other roles in the company, a Pfizer spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review. "We have made the very difficult decision to discontinue some research projects to focus on programs where our innovation and investments may be best positioned to deliver high-impact breakthrough medicines and vaccines."
Agenus is cutting 25% of its workforce, according to a company press release issued on Wednesday. The immuno-oncology firm is refocusing its resources on its flagship program botensilimab/balstilimab (BOT/BAL), a CTLA-4/PD-1 combo treatment being developed for solid tumors, including colorectal cancer and melanoma, while halting all other preclinical and clinical programs for the time being. "Now is the pivotal moment to concentrate our efforts on the BOT/BAL program," Chairman and CEO Garo Armen said in the statement. "The observed clinical benefit in solid tumors underscores the program’s game-changing potential, and our rapid progress towards a first filing in 2024 highlights the necessity for prioritization in every aspect of our operations."
Novartis will cut 103 jobs this fall, according to a state WARN notice. The layoffs will again affect the company's East Hanover, NJ, headquarters and focus on clinical operations, Fierce Pharma reported. The move comes with a campus redesign and is part of a new approach to “enable faster trial recruitment and enhanced trial delivery,” a Novartis spokesperson told the publication. This is the company's first significant round of layoffs since it announced late last year that its restructuring initiative would eliminate 285 jobs in the early part of 2023.
Lava Therapeutics will lay off 36% of its employees, the company announced with its second-quarter financial update today. The cuts come along with efforts to reprioritize Lava's portfolio following the company's June decision to discontinue development of LAVA-051, a gammabody intended to target CD1d-expressing tumors, including multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. At the end of last year, Lava had 69 full-time employees, Endpoints News reported.
Aravive is laying off 70% of its staff, which numbered 23 people at the end of last year, according to an SEC filing. The terminations, which include Chief Operating Officer Scott Dove, come as the company shutters clinical development of the decoy protein batiraxcept, which recently failed to improve progression-free survival in a Phase III trial of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. In addition to its ovarian cancer program, the company was testing batiraxcept in Phase Ib/II trials of clear cell renal cell carcinoma and pancreatic cancer, but following the Phase III flop, the company has decided it needs to conserve cash, the filing stated.
BlueRock Therapeutics is laying off about 50 people, or about 12% of its employees, Endpoints News reported. The cuts will affect sites in New York, Toronto and Cambridge, MA. BlueRock is the cell therapy arm of Bayer, which bought the biotech in 2019. In June of this year, BlueRock announced positive Phase I data for its stem cell therapy bemdaneprocel, being developed for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
Starting in October, Thermo Fisher Scientific is letting go 205 employees from two sites in Alachua, Florida, according to a recent WARN notice. According to Fierce Pharma, the 95,000-square-foot Alachua facility oversees analytics and processes for viral vector systems and conducts quality control testing and manufacturing for cell and gene therapies in clinical development but is no longer listed on Thermo's website. This marks the company's sixth round of layoffs this year, having cut nearly 600 employees in the San Diego area and an additional 113 in New Jersey.
Alaunos Therapeutics will lay off 60% of employees as it runs out of cash to continue operations, the company announced with its second-quarter financial results. The move comes hand in hand with a strategic shift that involves moving away from its TCR-T Library Phase 1/2 trial and focusing on its hunTR TCR discovery platform while exploring partnering opportunities. It's unclear how many people will be affected by the layoffs, but according to an SEC filing the company had 34 full-time employees as of February.
BioXcel Therapeutics is cutting its workforce by more than half, dropping from about 190 employees to 80, the company announced with its second-quarter earnings on Monday. The move came as the New Haven, Conn.–based, AI-focused biopharma company aims to reduce operating expenses by more than 50%, according to the press release. Additional strategic shifts include halting certain programs altogether and focusing on the development of BXCL501 for at-home treatment of agitation in schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and mild to moderate dementia due to probable Alzheimer’s disease.
Bristol Myers Squibb will lay off 108 employees later this year, according to a New Jersey WARN report. The news comes shortly after the company announced its second-quarter earnings, which showed notably reduced sales of its chemotherapy Revlimid and lower overall revenue projections for 2023. It's the second round of layoffs to hit BMS this year, with 48 staff members at its Princeton, New Jersey, facility losing their jobs in May.
San Carlos, Calif.–based biotech Atreca is reorganizing its pipeline, suspending development of its lead candidate ATRC-101, a solid tumor monoclonal antibody, and cutting its workforce by 40%. The cuts will cost the company approximately $1.6 million, mostly in severance payments, according to an 8K filing dated Aug. 10. The remaining Atreca staff will focus their attention on the company’s preclinical antibody-drug conjugate candidates, with the company particularly highlighting APN-497444, being developed for gastrointestinal cancers.
Immediately following the FDA’s rejection of avasopasem manganese (avasopasem)—intended to treat severe oral mucositis (SOM), or mouth sores, resulting from radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer—Galera Therapeutics announced it would lay off approximately 70% of its workforce. The move is one action the Malvern, Penn–based company is taking to extend its cash runway as it winds down commercial readiness efforts, according to a press release announcing the Complete Response Letter. The reductions will be felt across several departments.
“We are grateful for the many contributions our talented team has made over the years and their commitment to avasopasem,” Galera President and CEO Mel Sorensen said in a prepared statement.
INOVIO Pharmaceuticals is abandoning development of its cervical lesion program, VGX-3100, along with 58 of its employees. The layoffs, which equate to 30% of INOVIO’s overall workforce, are the third staff reductions in the span of just over a year for the Pennsylvania-based company. In July 2022, INOVIO parted with 18% of its staff after encountering challenges in efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Then in January, looking for further cost savings, the company laid off an additional 11% of its team.
Houston–based biotech Salarius Pharmaceuticals is reducing its small team by more than half as it explores strategic alternatives and takes measures to extend its resources. These measures may include “acquisition, merger, reverse merger, divestiture of assets, licensing or other strategic transactions,” according to the press release. Salarius President and CEO David Arthur said the decision to limit further drug development was “exceptionally difficult” in light of recent clinical wins that include FDA clearance of a Phase I trial for targeted protein degrader SP-3164 in non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The company’s remaining employees will focus on “limited drug development activities.”
In a shift away from contract manufacturing, Emergent BioSolutions will part ways with approximately 400 employees. The changes, which come as Emergent focuses its resources on its core businesses—medical countermeasures and Narcan—will also see the reduction of operations at the company’s facilities in Baltimore, MD, and Canton, MA. Emergent’s contract manufacturing business took a hit two years ago when cross-contamination ruined millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. The 400 individuals laid off Tuesday join 132 of their colleagues who lost their jobs in another “organizational restructuring” in January.
San Francisco–based clinical trials company Curebase has laid off an undisclosed number of employees as it sunsets its full-service clinical operations business, CEO Tom Lemberg announced in a LinkedIn post. Lemberg put the decision down to the current state of the industry, saying, “We regret the turbulence our industry is experiencing, including staffing reductions at Curebase and many of our peer startups trying to make an impact in this space.”
Celsius Therapeutics announced the launch of its first clinical trial for its lead asset CEL383, an anti-TREM1 antibody intended to treat inflammatory bowel disease—but it appears the Mass.-based company hobbled to the starting gate, recently laying off around two-thirds of its employees, CEO Tariq Kassum told STAT News. Celsius has also halted nearly all of its early-stage research work in order to launch the Phase I trial, Kassum told STAT.
“I do think that you’re seeing a lot of other companies doing what we are, which is, as painful as it is, to focus on the nearest-term value drivers, the things that can get to patients the quickest, and make the painful decisions that allow you to live to fight another day,” he said.
In an effort to focus on its late-stage core programs, Karyopharm Therapeutics will reduce its workforce by around 20%, the Mass.-based company announced in its second-quarter financial report. The move will affect both full-time employees and contractors, Karyopharm stated. An SEC filing puts the company’s total workforce at 385 as of Feb. 10, meaning the cuts could affect around 80 people. With the move, Karyopharm expects to have cash runway into late 2025.
Intergalactic Therapeutics, launched in 2020 by Apple Tree Partners and former Pfizer and Biogen exec Michael Ehlers, is parting ways with all of its employees and will “explore strategic options”, according to Heather Shea, a company spokesperson who confirmed the news to the Boston Business Journal.
In a LinkedIn post, Joseph Graskemper, the company’s head of external manufacturing and supply chain, indicated that economic reasons were at play in the decision. “The current economic environment has led to challenging times for companies to raise capital,” Graskemper wrote. “Unfortunately, Intergalactic Therapeutics was not immune to these challenges and all employees have been laid off, myself included.”
Intergalactic was developing non-viral gene therapies.
Charles River Laboratories will shutter its discovery site in South San Francisco, a company representative confirmed in an email to BioSpace on August 1. The facility, located at 225 Gateway Blvd., employed 55 people, ranging from entry- to senior-level scientific and technical staff. The decision was made based on a determination that the pharmacokinetic and pharmacology services provided by the site “are not currently a strategic fit to support future growth,” the representative said, adding that the company’s antibody discovery and CRADL locations in South San Francisco are not affected.
Another plant is shutting its doors, this one belonging to SterRx, a New York–based company that makes therapeutic products, including calcium-channel blocking agents, sedatives and vasopressors. The move, announced in a WARN notice dated July 26, will affect 161 employees. The decision, which involves two sites, was made due to economic reasons, according to the WARN notice. The first layoffs are expected to happen on Oct. 24, the same date listed for the closing of the facility.
In a pipeline reprioritization, Ribon Therapeutics has made “cuts across the organization,” Chief Business Officer Gary Sutton told Endpoints News, which broke the news of the layoffs. The Cambridge, MA–based biotech has also ended its preclinical and platform work to prioritize development of two clinical programs: RBN-2397, an oral PARP7 inhibitor being tested in a Phase I trial of patients with solid tumors, and RBN-3143, an inhibitor of PARP14 currently in Phase I for moderate to severe atopic dermatitis. Sutton did not disclose the number of employees affected, Endpoints reported.
On the heels of what it called “encouraging” data from a Phase I study evaluating HMI-103—an investigational gene editing candidate—in phenylketonuria (PKU), Homology Medicines is laying off nearly its entire workforce as it evaluates strategic options. Homology stated that despite the positive data for HM1-103, it would be shuttering its programs and reducing its workforce by 87%. In a press release, the company said the decision is due to “the current financing environment and Homology’s anticipated clinical development timelines.”
Mersana Therapeutics will lay off around half of its workforce after the Phase III failure of its lead antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), upifitamab rilsodotin (UpRi), in ovarian cancer. Mersana announced Thursday that UpRi failed to meet the primary endpoint of investigator-assessed objective response rate in the UPLIFT trial, which was studying the therapeutic in patients with NaPi2b-positive ovarian cancer. This spells the end of the UpRi program, which also includes the UP-NEXT and UPGRADE-A clinical trials, which were both placed on partial clinical holds by the FDA in June, as Mersana said it would wind down development activities related to the ADC.
After the breakdown of its planned merger with MEI Pharma, Infinity Pharmaceuticals is laying off approximately 78% of its current workforce in what the company is calling a value preservation and maximization plan. In addition to parting with 21 employees, Infinity will reduce its board from eight members to five and the remaining members will finish out their term uncompensated. On Monday, Infinity announced it had terminated the planned merger after MEI failed to obtain stockholder approval for the deal.
In a sweeping move, Biogen will cut 11% of its workforce—amounting to approximately 1,000 jobs—as it gears up for the launch of Alzheimer’s drug Leqembi, which gained full approval earlier this month. The layoffs are part of a larger cost-cutting and reorganization effort that began in 2022 on the heels of a disappointing rollout for the company’s other Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm. The larger plan, dubbed “Fit for Growth” is expected to save approximately $1 billion in gross operating expenses by 2025, Biogen stated in its Q2 earnings report.
The hits keep coming for Heron Therapeutics. Just over a year ago, Heron cut 34% of its workforce in what it called a “corporate restructuring and cost reduction plan.” Monday, the San Diego–based biotech was back with another corporate restructuring that will cost 25% of its employees their jobs. The overall cost reduction plan—which also includes streamlining operational expenditures, including reductions in R&D—is expected to save $75 million in cash through 2025.
Illumina is laying off 151 workers in California, according to WARN notices filed with the state. The cuts include 79 workers in San Diego, 71 in Foster City and one in Hayward. The layoffs are part of an initiative to save $100 million by the end of the year.
Eliem Therapeutics announced it is dropping its one remaining program and exploring strategic alternatives, including a potential sale of its business. This comes five months after the biotech laid off 55% of its staff and dropped its Phase II depression candidate.
Idorsia announced plans to lay off up to 500 workers in an attempt to cut spending in half at its headquarters in Allschwil, Switzerland by early 2024. The company has decided to stop its R&D efforts while it waits for Quviviq, its insomnia treatment, to bring in more cash.
Codexis announced it will no longer develop its own therapeutics and will focus on selling its existing technology and services. This shift will result in cutting 25% of its workforce and closing its facility in San Carlos, CA.
Passage Bio announced plans to cut 26% of its staff, including its chief financial officer and chief technical officer, according to an SEC filing. The cuts will be focused primarily on its chemistry, manufacturing and controls (CMC) division.
Amgen is laying off four members of staff from its San Carlos, CA facility effective Sept. 1, according to a WARN notice. This is the company's third round of layoffs since Jan. 1. The first, announced in January, included 300 workers, and the second, announced in March, included 450.
FibroGen is cutting 104 workers in the U.S., or approximately 32% of its workforce, according to an SEC filing published Wednesday. This followed news in June that the company's idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis candidate, pamrevlumab, failed to meet its primary endpoint in a Phase III trial.
Amarin Corporation PLC announced it plans to lay off all workers in U.S. sales positions and eliminate 30% of non-sales roles as part of a restructuring initiative following the appointment of a new CEO. The company stated it will keep a small team on staff to continue developing its lead candidate, Vascepa.
Pieris Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that it is undergoing a restructuring initiative and laying off 70% of its workforce after AstraZeneca pulled out of its partnership and licensing deal for its asthma treatment, elarekibep.
Capsida Biotherapeutics is laying off staff, according to multiple outlets, but the company has not confirmed how many workers would be affected. Fierce Biotech reported the layoffs could include up to 25% of the team, citing "a source familiar with the decision."
Sagent Pharmaceuticals is laying off 81 workers at its Raleigh, NC campus, according to a WARN notice filed with the state of North Carolina. The layoffs will take place on Aug. 11. Sagent acquired the facility in 2019, and at the time, it housed about 120 workers.
Theratechnologies announced it is cutting an unspecified number of workers in its R&D division in an effort to save cash, according to its Q2 financial report. Sales for both Trogarzo, a treatment for HIV infection and Egrifta, a treatment for fat gain due to HIV infection, were down 9% in Q2, and the company expects to save an extra $5.5 million annually by cutting down its R&D spending.
BAKX Therapeutics announced that as of July 1, it has shut the doors to its offices and labs, dissolved the company and laid off almost all of its staff. Several key members of the company, based in Watertown, MA, will stay put until Aug. 1.
TrueBinding, a California biotech developing therapies for Alzheimer's, has recently undergone two rounds of layoffs, according to Endpoints News, which cited LinkedIn posts as its source. The company did not respond to the outlet's request for comment, but according to PitchBook, TrueBinding now has 27% fewer staff than it did in July 2022.
Galvanize Therapeutics conducted a round of layoffs last week, according to multiple outlets, just 10 months after it received $100 million in funding. The company would not confirm how many workers were cut in the layoffs.
Sumitomo Pharma America plans to lay off 62 employees from its New York City office previously owned by its subsidiary Sumitovant Biopharma, according to a WARN notice published July 3. The company stated the layoffs are a result of its effort, previously announced in April, to combine its seven subsidiaries into one company dubbed Sumitomo Pharma America.
Zymergen plans to lay off three workers in Alameda County, CA, effective Aug. 1, according to a California WARN report. The company was acquired by Ginkgo Bioworks in July 2022, and this most recent filing marks the fourth round of layoffs it has implemented since.
Bellerophon Therapeutics is laying off "substantially all" of its staff, according to an SEC filing. The cuts include the company's C-suite. This follows a June 5 announcement that its only clinical program had come to a halt after failing to meet its primary endpoint in fibrotic interstitial lung disease.
Eiger BioPharmaceuticals is cutting 25% of its workforce and shifting its focus to to a GLP-1 antagonist being developed to treat metabolic diseases. As part of the restructuring, the company will also stop R&D spending for a liver disease candidate.
Illumina has begun layoffs in San Diego in an effort to cut annual expenses by $100 million by the end of 2023, according to an SEC filing. No WARN report has been filed as of this writing, and the company declined to confirm how many workers were being laid off, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Intercept Pharmaceuticals announced it is abandoning its NASH program and laying off about one-third of its workforce. This came one day after the FDA denied the application for its obeticholic acid tablets to treat patients with pre-cirrhotic liver fibrosis due to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Intercept expects the cuts to save it about $140 million a year.
Federation Bio confirmed to Fierce Biotech that it has laid off an undisclosed number of workers just six months after launching its first Phase I trial. The company did not disclose the reason for the layoffs.
Nutcracker Therapeutics has laid off 12 employees, a company spokesperson confirmed to Fierce Biotech. The spokesperson added that the cuts were made in an attempt to focus on its three preclinical programs, emphasizing that the company has no plans to cut any of the programs at this time.
Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to cut 88 workers in the San Diego area, according to a WARN notice filed in California. This news came two months after it announced plans to close three sites in San Diego. This brings Thermo Fisher’s total number of job cuts in the area to nearly 600 since the start of 2023.
Molecular Templates is laying off 44% of its workforce as part of a restructuring initiative to save cash flow and potentially find a buyer, according to a June 16 press release. This round of cuts follow a March announcement that the company was cutting approximately half of its staff.
Twist Bioscience is laying off 212 employees in California, according to WARN notices filed with the state. The majority of the cuts will take place in San Francisco. These layoffs are part of a restructuring initiative the company announced in May that includes cutting about 25% of its total workforce.
Encoded Therapeutics is cutting approximately 10% of its headcount in an effort to extend cash flow into 2026, chief business officer David McNinch told Fierce Biotech. He declined to confirm how many staffers were affected, but he said the cuts were part of an effort to shift its focus to getting its lead asset, a treatment for Dravet syndrome, through the clinic.
Rejuvenate Bio Bio has cut a "sizable portion" of its staff and made cuts to its pipeline, Endpoints News reported. A Rejuvenate spokesperson confirmed to the news organization that it was in fact making cuts, but it did not specify how many staffers would be affected by the layoffs.
GreenLight Biosciences is laying off 96 members of staff, effective July 29, according to a WARN notice received by the state on May 31. News of the cuts comes shortly after the company announced it had agreed to be acquired by a group of buyers led by Fall Line Capital, LLC.
Oncorus is laying off 55 employees, or “substantially all" of its workforce, according to a post-market release. The cuts include CEO Ted Ashburn, COO Stephen Harbin and CMO John Goldberg. Interim CFO Alexander Nolte will remain in order to attempt to find a buyer for the biotech before it runs out of cash.
Roche plans to sell a drug manufacturing plant in Vacaville, CA, or shut the facility down by 2029, according to an internal email sent Wednesday obtained by Reuters. The plant currently employs 800 staff members, and though Roche would not confirm any details about the timeline or number of employees affected to Reuters, it did confirm plans to sell the site.
Catalent plans to lay off 150 employees from its Bloomington, IN plant by Friday, Indiana Public Media reported, according to an internal email sent to employees. A company spokesperson told the news outlet that the cuts will mainly affect leadership and support positions, and come as part of a restructuring due to difficulty sustaining the growth the company saw during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rain Oncology is laying off 65% of its staff, including its chief medical officer. This news came one week after the company's lead candidate, milademetan, fell short in a Phase III liposarcoma trial. Rain is also pausing a Phase II trial and dropping another Phase I/II trial completely, both studying milademetan.
Takeda plans to lay off 27 employees in San Diego two weeks after giving notice of plans to lay off more than 180 employees in Massachusetts. A Takeda spokesperson told BioSpace that the cuts in California are directly related to the company’s decision to discontinue discovery and pre-clinical efforts in AAV gene therapy and in rare hematology.
PTC Therapeutics, Inc. has implemented a pipeline prioritization initiative, that includes dropping several preclinical and early-phase R&D projects in gene therapy and an 8% reduction in its workforce.
Affimed cut about 25% of its total headcount in April, according to the company's Q1 earnings report. These cuts came as part of a restructuring effort in which the company hopes to prioritize the three clinical programs in its pipeline.
Urovant Sciences is laying off 22 employees, effective June 29, according to a California WARN notice filed in April and published in May. This news comes just a few weeks after the company revealed that it is being folded into its parent company, Sumitomo, along with six other sister companies.
GeneDx, a clinical genomics and genetic testing company, is laying off 19 employees beginning May 28, according to a Connecticut WARN notice. This comes after the company cut 700 jobs last year. The most recent cuts include only remote employees, CT Insider reported.
Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, Inc. cut 22 jobs, or 23% of its total headcount, to shift its focus to its clinical trials and extend its cash runway, the Washington Business Journal reported. The layoffs went into effect on May 9.
Roche has cut 165 jobs in Branchburg, New Jersey—the home of its largest diagnostic operations center in the U.S. The layoffs will go into effect on July 25, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN) notice filed in April.
Novavax is cutting its global workforce by about 25%, according to its first-quarter earnings report. The layoffs include about 500 of the nearly 2,000 employees that Novavax cited in its 2022 annual report.
Gossamer Bio announced plans to lay off 25% of its workforce as part of an effort to shift its focus to its pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) candidate, which is set to enter Phase III in the third quarter of this year. The biotech stated it plans to cut all clinical and preclinical programs other than the PAH candidate.
ADC Therapeutics plans to cut about 17% of its staff—about 54 employees in total—along with two preclinical programs. This news follows disappointing sales for Zynlonta, an ADC approved to treat diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
Takeda plans to lay off about 186 employees in Massachusetts, according to a WARN report. The cuts will affect employees in four locations across three cities in Massachusetts: Cambridge, Lexington and North Reading.
Bristol Myers Squibb plans to lay off 48 staff members from its Princeton, New Jersey, facility, according to a WARN notice filed in April. Though no other information was provided in the WARN report about which divisions will be affected, the facility houses employees from the commercial, R&D and enabling function support teams, according to the company’s website.
EQRx announced plans to cut 170 jobs and several drug candidates as part of a restructuring effort. The startup was formed to develop an affordable alternative to name-brand prescription drugs, but tight FDA regulations forced the company to pivot.
Mammoth Biosciences cut 35 jobs in March, Mammoth CEO Trevor Martin confirmed to Endpoints News. The biotech is looking to ditch its efforts in CRISPR diagnostics and shift its focus to therapeutic research.
Selecta Biosciences announced plans to cut about 25% of its workforce as part of an effort to implement a "capital prioritization initiative," according to its Q1 financial report. The cuts are expected to extend the company's cash flow to the second half of 2025.
Zymergen plans to lay off 27 members of staff in Alameda County, CA, effective June 20, according to a California WARN report. The company was acquired by Ginkgo Bioworks in July 2022, and this most recent filing marks the third round of layoffs it has implemented since.
Transplant Genomics has cut nine remote workers from its staff, according to a Massachusetts WARN report. The report was filed on April 27, and the layoffs went into effect the very next day.
Sumitomo plans to lay off a combined 122 members of staff from both Sumitomo Pharma America Holdings and Sumitomo Pharma Oncology in Massachusetts. It will also cut 101 jobs from subsidiary Sunovion Pharmaceuticals. This news comes one month after the pharma announced plans to consolidate its many subsidiaries into one company, Sumitomo Pharma America.
Cepheid, a company known for making rapid coronavirus tests, plans to cut 625 members of staff in the California Bay Area, according to a WARN report. This is the company's second round of layoffs in the last six months. In November, the company announced plans to cut 925 jobs, also in the Bay Area.
Care Access, a contract research startup, has cut about half of its headcount, according to a LinkedIn post by CEO and co-founder Ahmad Namvargolian. This news comes just two months after Pfizer cut the startup from its study of a Lyme disease vaccine.
Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to lay off 218 workers related to the closing of three facilities in San Diego, according to a WARN report. This is the third round of layoffs the company has implemented in San Diego so far this year, and this most recent round brings the total number of cuts in the area to just over 500. In March, Thermo Fisher also announced plans to close a New Jersey manufacturing site and lay off 113 employees.
Sangamo Therapeutics announced plans to layoff about 120 staff members (approximately 27% of total workforce) as part of a restructuring effort. This news comes only one month after both Novartis and Biogen ended their partnerships with the biotech.
Evelo Biosciences announced it is cutting its workforce and dropping an atopic dermatitis program in an effort to extend its cash flow. This is the company's second round of layoffs in three months. The company did not specify how many jobs would be cut.
Foundation Medicine, Inc., a Roche subsidiary, plans to cut about 135 members of staff, according to an April 4 blog post written by CEO Brian Alexander on the company's website. Alexander said the layoffs are part of a decision to adopt a "leaner, more streamlined organizational structure."
Enzyvant Therapeutics plans to lay off 20 employees in North Carolina, including some executive positions, the Triangle Business Journal reported. The WARN notice, filed April 20, stated the cuts are a "result of the integration of Enzyvant and a number of its affiliates into one new company."
Emerald Cloud Lab plans to lay off 30 employees from its headquarters in South San Francisco, effective April 30, according to a WARN report. These cuts could be part of the company's plans to relocate to a new facility in Austin, TX, which is expected to open in July.
Nektar Therapeutics plans to implement a restructuring initiative that includes cutting its workforce in San Francisco by about 60%. The company said it will shift its focus to its immunology portfolio, and the cuts will help extend its cash flow to mid-2026.
Talaris Therapeutics plans to lay off about 80 employees, including much of its C-suite. In total, the cuts include about 95% of the company's headcount. This follows Talaris' February decision to cut about one-third of its staff and axe two clinical trials.
Aeglea Biotherapeutics announced plans to lay off all but about 10 members of its staff as part of a restructuring initiative. This announcement followed mixed interim data from an ongoing Phase I/II study of its classical homocystinuria candidate pegtarviliase.
Oncocyte Corporation announced plans to cut its workforce by about 20% in an effort to extend its cash flow into 2024. The company did not give a reason for the layoffs in the press release, stating only that the cuts were part of an effort to reduce costs and optimize efficiency.
GentiBio, Inc has laid off an undisclosed number of employees, CEO Adel Nada told the Boston Business Journal. The CEO called the cuts "relatively small," and cited "a challenging biotech macroenvironment" as the reason for the cuts.
Biogen is laying off an unspecified number of employees, according to a report published Monday by the Boston Business Journal. A Biogen spokesperson confirmed the layoffs in an email to BioSpace but declined to reveal the exact number of affected employees.
Pear Therapeutics has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is seeking to sell off its assets, according to an SEC filing. 170 employees (about 92% of total staff) will be laid off as a result, leaving 15 employees who will continue working until the company’s assets are sold.
Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to shutter a New Jersey manufacturing facility and cut 113 members of staff as a result, according to a WARN report filed in March. This is the third round of layoffs the company has announced this year. Since February, it has cut over 350 staff members, all from manufacturing facilities in San Diego.
LumiraDx, a diagnostics testing solutions company, announced plans to initiate a restructuring program that includes cutting its headcount by about 40%. The company expects to save about $36 million a year as a result.
NGM Biopharmaceuticals is implementing a restructuring initiative that includes cutting 75 employees, which make up about 33% of the company's total workforce, according to an SEC filing. CEO David Woodhouse stated the cuts are related to the Phase II CATALINA trial failure in October 2022.
Molecular Templates is cutting about half of its staff, leaving it with just over 100 employees, according to an SEC filing. The layoffs are the result of an effort to narrow its pipeline to only three programs and a preclinical partnership with BMS.
Applied Molecular Transport, Inc. (AMT) is slashing its workforce by approximately 57%, according to a March 28 announcement. Tahir Mahmood, Ph.D. will step down as CEO and be replaced by President and COO Shawn Cross.
Satsuma Pharmaceuticals announced plans to lay off 36% of its staff, starting March 31. effective this Friday. This comes after the company announced results from a Phase III trial studying its migraine treatment, STS101, and submitted an NDA to the FDA earlier this month.
9 Meters Biopharma announced it is cutting about half of its workforce in an effort to extend its cash runway. The announcement came as part of its fourth-quarter financial report.
Merck KGaA's EMD Serono plans to cut six members of staff research center in Billerica, MA, beginning May 22, according to a Massachusetts WARN report. In January, the company announced plans to cut 133 employees from the same location as part of a plan to prioritize R&D and rely more heavily on its partnerships for drug development.
Ferring Pharmaceuticals is closing its research facility in San Diego, CA and laying off 89 employees as a result. According to a WARN notice filed with the state of California, the layoffs will be effective May 26.
Vaxart, Inc. plans to reorganize its pipeline to prioritize its oral norovirus vaccine program and push back clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine. The reorganization includes cutting about 27% of staff in an effort to extend cash flow into 2024.
Olema Oncology announced it is shifting its focus to advancing OP-1250, a treatment for ER+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer, into Phase III. The restructuring will include cutting about 25% of its workforce.
Neoleukin Therapeutics announced it is reviewing strategic alternatives that could include a sale, merger, divestiture of assets, licensing or other strategic transaction. As a result, the company is cutting 70% of its workforce in the first half of 2023.
Thermo Fisher Scientific is laying off 154 people in San Diego, according to a WARN report. This news comes just one month after it announced plans to lay off 230 employees at three manufacturing sites in San Diego. The company cited reduced demand for COVID-19 testing kits as the reason for both rounds of cuts.
atai Life Sciences announced it has cut staff by about 30% as part of a in order to extend its cash runway into the first half of 2026. The company stated the decision came after a strategic review of its pipeline in an effort to enhance efficiency and narrow its focus.
Coherus BioSciences announced in its fourth-quarter report that it has cut about 60 full-time and part-time employees from its payroll as part of a restructuring initiative. The company's operating expenses for this year are nearly $100 million lower than those projected in April 2022.
MorphoSys AG plans to drop its pre-clinical programs and cut 17% of its workforce to extend its cash runway. The cuts will take place at the company’s Planegg headquarters, and a total of 70 employees will lose their jobs.
Novo Nordisk is laying off 86 employees in Seattle, effective May 1, according to a WARN notice. A spokesperson told GeekWire that the company is shuttering its Seattle-based wet lab operations, but that it will continue its efforts in digital therapy, data science and AI in the area.
G1 Therapeutics released its full-year 2022 financial report that stated it has cut its headcount by about 30% to reduce operating expenses in 2023. This comes two weeks after the biotech ended a late-stage study of its lead candidate in colorectal cancer, causing shares to plunge 50%.
Theravance Biopharma is discontinuing research activities for its JAK inhibitor program in lung inflammation and reducing its headcount by about 17%. The strategic realignment folows a letter from one of Theravance’s largest shareholders, Irenic Capital, urging the company to review its governance structure and reassess its business strategies.
ObsEva, a women's health biotech based in Switzerland, is cutting several staff members from its executive team in the U.S. and its board of directors. These cuts include the company's CEO, CMO and several others.
Graphite Bio announced it is discontinuing the development of nulabeglogene autogedtemcel (nula-cel), its lead asset. Simultaneously, the Bay Area biotech is launching a corporate restructuring program that will shave off about 50% of its workforce.
Impel Pharmaceuticals is implementing a restructuring initiative that includes cutting staff by 16%. It plans to drop its INP105 treatment for acute agitation and aggression in autism spectrum disorder and focus on developing its Trudhesa nasal spray.
Jounce Therapeutics announced plans to merge its business in an all-stock deal with clinical-stage biotech Redx Pharma. This news came one day after the biotech announced a restructuring plan that included cutting 57% of staff.
National Resilience Inc. announced plans to sell a manufacturing site in Marlborough, MA and scale back operations at another in Allston, MA. The decision will result in about 213 job cuts in total.
Aileron Therapeutics announced it plans to drop its its lead candidate, ALRN-6924, after it did not meet the primary or secondary endpoints in a Phase 1b trial studying the candidate in breast cancer patients. As a result, the company will cut its staff from nine employees to three.
Frequency Therapeutics is cutting 55% of its workforce due to its decision to drop all programs designed to treat Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL). This comes after its candidate, FX-322, did not meet the primary endpoint in SNHL patients in a Phase IIb trial.
Eliem Therapeutics is dropping a depression drug candidate that was heading into Phase II and laying off 55% of staff in an attempt to stretch its cash runway into 2027.
Aligos Therapeutics announced it has implemented a pipeline reprioritization resulting in a staff reduction of about 25%. The biotech will now prioritize its NASH and COVID-19 assets, including its NASH collaboration with Merck.
Magenta Therapeutics is cutting up to 56 positions from its workforce - about 84% of its total staff - according to a filing with the SEC. This comes days after the biotech suspended the development of its clinical programs after a patient's death halted a Phase I/II trial.
Vyant Bio announced plans to cut its workforce in an attempt to extend its cash runway, though the announcement did not specify how many jobs would be cut. The decision is due to leadership's belief that "its stock price does not reflect the fundamental value of the business."
Medicago, a plant-based COVID-19 vaccine developer, announced it will shut its doors due to a slowdown in the COVID-19 pandemic. This follows the company's November announcement that it planned to lay off 62 employees at a North Carolina manufacturing facility.
Evelo Biosciences announced it has implemented cost-saving initiatives that include an unspecified amount of job cuts. In the same announcement, the company also stated its atopic dermatitis candidate, EDP1815, did not meet its primary endpoint in a Phase II trial.
Instil Bio plans to cut its staff to just 15 employees in an attempt to extend its cash runway through 2026. This additional reduction follows the company's December announcement that it planned to cut staff by 60%.
Quince Therapeutics plans to reprioritize its pipeline and lay off 47% of its staff, according to an SEC filing. The new strategy follows the company's decision to sell its protease inhibitor portfolios.
Amgen is implementing organizational changes that include laying off approximately 300 team members to “better manage against industry headwinds,” a company spokesperson confirmed to BioSpace. The job cuts will mainly affect Amgen’s commercial team and will involve employees based in the U.S., the spokesperson said.
Finch Therapeutics announced it plans to discontinue the Phase III trial of its main asset, a bacterial infection drug dubbed CP101. As a result, it will cut about 95% of its workforce. Finch cited a lack of funding and partnerships to develop the drug as the reason behind the decision.
Merck KGaA's EMD Serono plans to cut 133 members of staff at its research center in Billerica, MA. This comes a few months after the biotech announced it planned to prioritize R&D and rely more heavily on its partnerships for drug development.
Cyteir Therapeutics announced a restructuring initiative focused on prioritizing CYT-0851, an investigational monocarboxylate transporter inhibitor being studied in ovarian cancer. The shift will result in a 70% reduction in staff.
Calithera Biosciences' board of directors has decided to dissolve the company and liquidate its assets, and most employees will be let go by the end of Q1. In 2021, Calithera bought two Phase II cancer assets from Takeda in an attempt to bounce back, but it announced in November that data from the assets had been delayed.
Editas Medicine announced it has cut 20% of staff, including Chief Scientific Officer Mark Shearman, Ph.D, in a pipeline reorganization. This follows the company's November announcement that it planned to press pause on its lead asset, EDIT-101, due to disappointing data.
Y-mAbs Therapeutics stated it will implement a restructuring plan that includes reducing its workforce by 35% by the end of May. The biotech stated it plans to prioritize Danyelza, its treatment for relapsed/refractory, high-risk neuroblastoma.
Athenex Pharma Solutions filed a WARN notice with the state of New York stating it plans to close a production facility in Clarence, NY, laying off 92 employees as a result. The company stated the decision was due to financial difficulty, though it did not specify the cause.
Instil Bio announced it is discontinuing the development of its unmodified tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapeutic, ITIL-168, and laying off 60% of its staff.