Bristol Myers Squibb and AbbVie to Cut 360 Jobs Across CA

Bristol Myers_Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Jeremy Moeller/Getty Images

Both Bristol Myers Squibb and AbbVie separately filed notices with the California state government stating they intend to lay off up to 360 people in total.

BMS's job cuts are for two different sites in San Diego. The company indicated the layoffs are related to its $4.1 billion acquisition of Turning Point Therapeutics, a deal that closed in August.

"As part of the integration, all incoming employees received retention packages tied to continued service to BMS for a period of time and have been encouraged to apply to long-term roles at BMS after their retention period ends," A BMS spokesperson told BioSpace.

The representative added, "San Diego is a key innovation hub for BMS and we remain committed to our West Coast innovation hubs as a center of innovative drug discovery.”

Turning Point is a precision oncology company. Its lead asset, repotrectinib, received three Breakthrough Therapy Designations from the FDA. A best-in-class tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), repotrectinib targets the ROS1 and NTRK oncogenic drivers of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other advanced solid tumors.

The company has indicated it expects approval by the FDA in the second half of 2023 for ROS1-positive NSCLC in the first-line setting.

AbbVie’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filing indicated plans to axe up to 99 jobs in Irvine, California. The cuts are expected to occur in November. Per the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, the site is an Allergan manufacturing facility. AbbVie acquired Ireland-based Allergan in 2019 for $63 billion.

Allergan is best known for its aesthetics division, including Botox, although it also has a strong pipeline of therapeutics for migraine, eye care, CNS and gastrointestinal disorders. AbbVie has a broad focus in immunology, oncology, neuroscience, virology and eye care. Its mega-blockbuster drug Humira brought in $20.7 billion alone in 2021.

AbbVie did not return BioSpace’s request for comment.

The Latest in a String of Layoffs

This announcement follows several other layoff announcements in the month of September. Palisade Bio announced plans to cut 20% of its workforce only a month after raising $14 million in an initial public offering (IPO). The company, based in San Diego, stated the layoffs were needed to continue advancing its Phase III development of LB1148. 

IMV reported plans to lay off one-third of its staff this month as part of a strategic reorganization. It plans to focus its remaining resources on its ongoing MVP-S program, which includes the Phase IIB VITALIZE trial in relapsed/refractor DLBCL and Phase IIB AVALON study in advanced metastatic ovarian cancer.

ObsEva SA, on Sept. 13, announced an update to previously restructuring activities. As part of its announcement, the company reported pink-slipping about 70% of staff, including Katja Buhrer, the company’s chief strategy officer.

Rubius Therapeutics, on Sept. 13, announced it was terminating 75% of its staff as part of a restructuring plan to focus on its Red Cell Therapeutics technology. The company has discontinued ongoing Phase I trials of RTX-240 and RTX-224 for advanced solid tumors and is shifting back to a preclinical activities plan.

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