Note, this list was updated with new entries as of May 9.
BMS lays off workers in New Jersey
Bristol Myers Squibb recently announced the layoff of 48 employees in New Jersey, according to a WARN notice. This decision follows the company’s previous layoffs in California, where over 260 employees were let go in 2022.
Novavax axes one-quarter of workforce
Biotech company Novavax plans to cut 25% of its workforce, or about 400 workers, as part of a new cost-cutting plan. The company said the decision would better align its infrastructure to market demand. The company was late to introduce a COVID-19 vaccine, but the Maryland-based firm is also working on updating its vaccine for the fall vaccine season. The company has forged a modified U.S. government agreement for up to 1.5 million additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for delivery this year. The company also aims to consolidate facilities and infrastructure. It is targeting cost cuts by 40–50% compared to the previous fiscal year.
Nektar Therapeutics cuts 83 workers
The San Francisco–based biopharma Nektar Therapeutics will cut approximately 83 workers. It is also looking for a partner for one of its experimental drugs currently in clinical testing. This 60% reduction in headcount at the company’s San Francisco offices will leave the number of remaining employees there at 55. Workers at a Huntsville, Alabama manufacturing facility will be unaffected. This news comes after a clinical trial setback, a canceled Bristol Myers partnership and a failed merger bid.
Johnson & Johnson records $130M restructuring expense
J&J’s infectious disease unit restructuring, including the end of its adult RSV vaccine program, has resulted in expenses of $130 million for the first quarter. J&J restructured its Janssen pharmaceutical unit during the quarter, cutting the RSV program, HIV and hepatitis work. The company announced layoffs around the globe but did not disclose the number of affected workers.
Ferring to lay off 89 workers in San Diego
The Ferring Research Institute in San Diego, a subsidiary of Switzerland-based Ferring Pharmaceuticals, said it would lay off all of its 89 employees in May. The institute, led by Araz Raoof, SVP of global drug discovery and external innovation, specializes in small molecule and peptide drug discovery. The company reported a 5.4% increase in revenue in 2022, reaching $4.2 billion. Last year, the company had strong sales of fertility treatments and new drugs for endometriosis and bladder cancer.
CytomX Therapeutics cuts 66
CytomX Therapeutics has recently announced another round of job cuts involving 66 workers in San Mateo County, California, according to a WARN notice. This comes after the biotech company had previously implemented a 40% reduction in its workforce back in July 2022, to extend its cash runway after its lead candidate failed to meet the bar for moving into phase 3. The failure of CD166-directed antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) praluzatamab ravtansine in triple-negative breast cancer prompted the biotech to seek a partner for the candidate, and lacking another in-house clinical-phase asset, CytomX has decided to slim down.
|Location or HQ
|Number of Layoffs
|Bristol Myers Squibb
|New York City
|25% of workforce
|San Diego, CA
|San Mateo County, CA
|San Diego, CA
|70% of workforce
|St. Louis, MO
|San Diego, CA
|12% of workforce
|Menlo Park, CA
|Up to 30%
|Thousand Oaks, CA
|San Diego, CA
|70% of workforce
|57% of workforce
|60% of workforce
|55% of workforce
|40% of workforce
|New York City, NY
|30% of workforce
|40% of workforce
|New York City, NY
|35% of workforce
|La Jolla, CA
|Half of workforce
|25% of workforce
Heron Therapeutics announces 77 layoffs in San Diego amid portfolio expansion
Heron Therapeutics, a biotechnology based in San Diego, has announced plans to cut 77 workers from its home base, according to a WARN notice. Despite the company’s ongoing expansion of indications and product approvals, Heron Therapeutics announced last July that it would cut one-third of workforce to save $43 million annually. The company said then that the move would help extend its available cash and enable it to focus on acute care and oncology treatments. A spokesperson for Heron told The San Diego Union Tribune that capital conservation was vital considering the ongoing disruptions in the marketplace resulting from COVID and the company’s high cost of capital.
Neoleukin Therapeutics to lay off majority of workforce, CEO steps down
Seattle-based biotech company Neoleukin Therapeutics recently announced that it will lay off approximately 70% of its workforce. Additionally, the company revealed that CEO Jonathan Drachman is stepping down. These changes come as Neoleukin explores “strategic alternatives” such as a sale, merger, or a divestiture of assets.
Invitae cuts more workers
The genetics company Invitae recently laid off 48 workers who were based in Irvine, California, according to a WARN notice. Last year, the company disclosed that it would lay off more than 1,000 employees that would eliminate about $326 million in annual costs.
Cerebral cuts 33 workers amidst ongoing regulatory challenges
As the telemedicine industry continues to face scrutiny from regulators, Cerebral, a mental health-focused telemedicine prescriber, has faced pressures. The company has announced that it will be reducing its workforce by 33 employees in Walnut, California. Cerebral has faced a federal investigation over its prior practice of prescribing medicines such as ADHD via telehealth. Some federal officials believe that companies like Cerebral have contributed to an inflated demand for ADHD medications, leading to a shortage of medications such as Adderall. Although Cerebral is not a drug developer, the fate of such prescribers can have a significant impact on the demand for medications.
Arch Oncology, once a promising St. Louis startup, quietly lays off employees
In recent months, Arch Oncology quietly laid off employees and vacated its Cortex innovation district office in St. Louis during a “wind-down” that one former employee described to St. Louis Inno.
In recent years, Arch Oncology had emerged as one of St. Louis’ most promising startups as it advanced its lead drug candidate into clinical trials to treat patients with select solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.
The company had approximately 50 employees, according to RocketReach.
Aristea Therapeutics folds
Aristea Therapeutics’s layoffs have something in common with Arch Oncology’s. The company announced in February that it had ceased its RIST4721 development program following safety concerns in Phase 2 clinical trials. After reviewing that reality, the San Diego–based company has decided to dissolve the company. The company had focused on developing drugs for serious inflammatory diseases. Aristea had a relatively small number of employees. According to PitchBook, it last had about 10 workers.
Quantum-Si cuts 12% of workers
Quantum-Si, a proteomics firm, said it would lay off roughly 12% of its workforce in the first quarter of 2023. The restructuring efforts will cost the company roughly $1 million. Since its 2021 merger with a special purpose acquisition company, Quantum-Si’s stock has struggled. Its share price peaked at $20.49 in February of 2021, ending the year at $7.87. Its stock is currently trading at less than $2 per share. The company managed to launch its first commercial product, a protein sequencing platform, in 2022. The firm plans to focus on ramping up its commercial operations to support its launch in 2023.
Personalis trims workforce by almost one-third
The cancer genomics specialist Personalis said it would cut up to 30% of its workforce to save money, according to an SEC filing. The company said it expected the restructuring effort to be finalized by March 20, 2023. Personalis believes the restructuring effort will save approximately $17 million in operating costs for the remainder of 2023 and roughly $20 million in the coming years.
Grifols cuts more than 2,000 jobs in push to save €400 million
The plasma-focused Spanish pharma company Grifols has announced an initiative to trim 8% of its employees, equivalent to roughly 2,300 jobs. The company aims to save roughly €400 million compared to 2022 full-year costs. It hopes to realize the majority of the savings by the fourth quarter of the year. The cuts will mainly affect the company’s U.S. plasma operations. Grifols estimates that it will have one-time restructuring costs related to the restructuring equivalent to about €140 million. Grifols’ co-CEOs, Victor Grifols Deu and Raimon Grifols Roura, blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the cuts, stating that the pandemic has been an “extraordinary challenge” for many companies.
Amgen cuts 750 workers
The company is undergoing a restructuring effort that includes layoffs of around 750 employees. Most recently, the company said it would cut 450 jobs. That is less than two months after laying off 300 employees in late January. The move comes amid increasing pressure on drug prices and high levels of inflation.
In a statement, Amgen said the layoffs are part of an effort to realign its expense base and continue to deliver value for patients, staff and shareholders. The impacted employees were notified on March 16. With a total workforce of over 25,000, the job cuts represent a small fraction of the company’s staff.
Earlier this year, the company said its initial cut of 300 employees would primarily affect its commercial team based in the U.S., according to a report obtained from Endpoints.
Thermo Fisher slashes 230 jobs
Facing dwindling demand for COVID-19 testing, Thermo Fisher Scientific said it would cut more than 200 jobs at three manufacturing sites in California. The cuts will affect workers in the San Diego area. Last year, the company also laid off California workers in Pleasanton and South San Francisco.
Merck KGaA lays off 133
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is letting go of 133 jobs in Billerica, Massachusetts, as part of a restructuring effort, according to Boston Business Journal. In 2019, the company announced that it was investing $70 million in the expansion of the EMD Serono facility in the city, which then employed about 700 workers. The recent layoffs equate to an approximately 26% decrease in staff in Billerica, consisting of about 500 employees, and an 11% decrease in its U.S.-based EMD Serono employee base.
Cyteir Therapeutics slashes roughly 70% of its workers
The Lexington, Massachusetts–based company said it would cut its workforce by 70% to about 15 full-time employees. The company previously had more than 50 workers. The pared-down company will focus development efforts on an experimental monocarboxylate transporter inhibitor known as CYT-0851 for ovarian cancer. The company said it would suspend enrollment in the Phase 2 monotherapy cohorts involving CYT-0851 owing to insufficient monotherapy efficacy. The company said it would release Phase 1 combination data for CYT-0851 in mid-2023.
Jounce Therapeutics cuts almost 60% of its staff
The clinical-stage immunotherapy company Jounce Therapeutics has announced it would cut 57% of its workers. The company made the decision after concluding that advancing its clinical programs would require more funding and resources than the company can offer on its own. The company said it would look for opportunities for its clinical programs JTX-8064 and vopratelimab. The company has concluded that it is unable to develop either program independently.
Instil Bio (Nasdaq:TIL) said it would reduce its U.S. workforce to a team of roughly 15 employees while consolidating clinical manufacturing and trial operations of its genetically-engineered CoStAR-TIL therapy to Manchester, UK. In December 2022, the company announced that it would halt the development of its unmodified tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy, ITIL-168, and cut 60% of its workers. On the employer review site Glassdoor, the company has an average review of 2.2 stars out of five. Some 14% of reviewers said they would recommend the company to a friend.
Frequency Therapeutics to lay off 55% of staff
After Frequency Therapeutics announced the failure of the Phase 2b study for FX-322, its lead candidate drug for hearing loss, the Lexington, Massachusetts-based biotech said it would discontinue its hearing loss program and trim its workforce by 55%.
ReNeuron to cut 40% of workers
The Bridgend, Wales-based stem cell company ReNeuron said it would cut four out of ten workers to give it cash flow until 2024. The biotech had 36 people in its 2022 financial year. Its previous CEO, Catherine Isted, recently resigned. She joined on September 1, 2022. Chair Iain Ross will assume the CEO role. The company is developing exosome technology and has a variety of partners. Its legacy portfolio includes transferring its stroke technology to Fosun Pharma in a £6 million deal.
Elevation Oncology slashes 30% of its workers
The New York City–based company said it would pare down its focus on EO-3021, an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting Claudin18.2 and a handful of pipeline drugs Caris Life Sciences.
Editas axes one-fifth of its workers
Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Editas announced that it was cutting 60 employees to sharpen its focus on its blood disease medication EDIT-301. The company is developing the one-time investigational therapy for severe sickle cell and beta-thalassemia. Editas also announced on January 9 that it would discontinue internal investments in its inherited retinal disease (IRD) programs and multiplexed edited induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived natural killer (iNK) cell programs,
TCR² Therapeutics cuts 40% of its staff
Cambridge, Massachusetts–headquartered TCR² Therapeutics (Nasdaq: TCRR) has announced another 40% cut in staffing, making it the second round of layoffs in half a year. The company also said it would focus on its ovarian cancer cohort in the Phase 2 clinical trial of gavo-cel, and it would ramp up the development of its second-generation enhanced TRuC T-cell therapy programs, TC-510 and TC-520. According to the company, the layoffs were necessary as a result of difficult capital market conditions. TCR² Therapeutics CEO Garry Menzel stated that the company is thus obliged to concentrate on producing short-term clinical data in high-demand therapeutic areas with the highest chances of commercial success.
Y-mAbs Therapeutics reduced workforce by 35%
After the FDA rejected its drug for pediatric cancer, omburtamab, Y-mAbs Therapeutics has announced significant downsizing affecting its employee base and pipeline. Late last year, an FDA advisory committee overwhelmingly rejected omburtamab’s approval for treating brain and spinal cord tumors in children with neuroblastoma. Panel members were unconvinced by the single-arm study’s evidence of the therapy’s effectiveness, leading to the FDA’s December rejection of the drug candidate. In addition, several law firms have announced that they are pursuing litigation against the company.
Fate cuts half of its workforce
Biotech firm Fate Therapeutics (La Jolla, California), which aims to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer using cell-based therapies, has scaled back its workforce and drug development programs as a result of an early end of a deal with Janssen. Fate announced a global partnership with Janssen focused on novel iPSC-derived cell-based cancer immunotherapies in 2020. The layoffs will affect about 315 employees. The restructuring effort will reduce the company’s workforce to 220 by the end of the first quarter of 2023. Pitchbook data shows Fate employed 545 people in 2022, up from the 449 cited in its 2021 annual report.
Century Therapeutics eliminates one-quarter of its workforce
The Philadelphia-based company said it planned to trim 25% of its workforce, closing lab operations and pare down its research operations in Philadelphia. It will sharpen its focus on CNTY-101 and prioritize programs such as CNTY-102, a follow-on product for lymphoma, and CNTY-107, a product for Nectin-4+ tumors. Century also said it would reduce investment in CNTY-103 for glioblastoma and a discovery program in blood cancers. Century said in an announcement that its efforts to streamline its business would extend its cash runway to 2026.
Hundreds of workers at Sanofi Indian vaccine plants offered retirement plan
Approximately 800 Sanofi employees in India could be affected by a downsizing initiative, according to Reuters. The related plants produce vaccines against hepatitis B, diphtheria and tetanus. They also have insulin packaging facilities. Sanofi currently employees about 5,000 people in India.