While most of the pharma industry was buzzing about the massive M&A deals, a handful of smaller firms (and one mega merger) announced layoffs.
â€¢ Cytos Biotechnology announced on Tuesday that it had to cut its 135-person team by 57 employees. This move is being done to slow its cash burn rate and to make up for setbacks in clinical trials for its hypertension vaccine CYToo6-AngQb.
â€¢ On March 13, Synta Pharmaceuticals will eliminate about 90 positions, dropping the total number of employees to 130. President and CEO Safi Bahcall cited the suspension of its melanoma drug elescolomol in Phase III trials. The company now has enough cash to go two years with out having to reach for more financing.
â€¢ The Star Ledger reported on March 12 that Roche will cut upwards of 1,500 jobs to make room for Genentech. The marketing and sales divisions will be hit hardest as Roche makes room for additional researchers and scientists at its Nutley, New Jersey location. The company will also adopt the Genentech name for its US pharma business.
â€¢ Finally, Biotech firm EPIX announced that it would reduce its workforce by 50 percent and company President and CEO Elkan Gamzu said he would half his pay indefinitely.Â The move is being done to keep the firm financially viable as it develops a treatments using its in silico drug technology platform.