Tessera Cuts Dozens of Jobs Following Positive Preclinical Results

Layoffs_iStock, Andrii Yalanskyi

Pictured: Illustration depicting large layoffs/iStock, Andrii Yalanskyi

Despite positive results in preclinical studies, Tessera Therapeutics is cutting staff as it tries to move its therapeutic candidates to clinical stage.

The Somerville, Mass.–based company confirmed to BioSpace that it is reducing its workforce by 13%–14%, or fewer than 50 workers.

“As a result of positive data from our preclinical programs, we have reached an inflection point where we need to rebalance the resources of our organization to prioritize and grow our clinical development efforts in anticipation of advancing multiple candidates into the clinic,” a Tessera spokesperson told BioSpace in an email. “Consequently, we have made the decision to reduce our current staff in some areas while continuing to hire in others that will support our goals.”

The spokesperson did not specify where the cuts are targeted, but some recently dismissed employees announced their layoffs on LinkedIn. A senior biochemist involved in RNA structural prediction was let go, as was at least one scientist from the company’s synthetic biology group. Another former Tessera employee now looking for work was in talent acquisition.

Tessera was the top finisher among small companies in BioSpace’s 2024 Best Places to Work survey, and the LinkedIn posters all said positive things about their time there. “This role allowed me to work with some of the most brilliant scientists and I grew in many ways over my time here. I am so proud of what my team accomplished and how far we progressed the biochemical understanding of our technologies,” wrote Randi Kotlar, a former Tessara senior scientist in mobile genetic elements discovery and engineering.

The firm is scheduled to present preclinical data on six different assets at the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) meeting May 7–11. The company also reported encouraging data at ASGCT 2023 based on a genomic engineering technique it calls “gene writing.”

Neil Versel is the business editor at BioSpace. You can reach him at neil.versel@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn or X.

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