Biotechnology company 2seventy bio is set to further trim its workforce, with six percent of staff now having left.
A spokesperson confirmed the layoffs in an email to Fierce Biotech on Wednesday, March 23, after the company announced it had “taken important steps to reduce overhead costs and streamline our operating model.”
The cost-cutting measures were disclosed in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report, which estimated that the cuts would save approximately $30 million in annual cash spend.
Demand for plasmid DNA, a critical component of many biological therapeutics, has increased in tandem with advances and successes in the cell, gene, and mRNA therapies.
CEO Nick Leschly said: “When you do a split like this, you don’t stick the landing perfectly.
“So, we’re also trying to make sure we have the right people in the right seats with the right skill sets and the right, sort of burn rate if you’d call it that, to make sure that we have a runway to be successful across the board.”
The foresight came as Leschly was bullish on the company’s ambitions, providing a glimpse into the startup-like atmosphere that has defined 2seventy’s early days.
The cancer drug Abecma, which was established in partnership with Celgene later acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb, is expected to make as much as $300 million in 2022.
In early 2021, the drug was approved to treat multiple myeloma in patients who had already tried four lines of treatment. Last week, the company locked a $170 million private financing led by a number of investors including Leschly himself.
The company had more than $360 million in cash and assets as of 2022, enough to see it through to 2025. However, 2seventy has made significant investments in the back end of its pipeline, spending more than $260 million on R&D in 2021.
Leschly was confident in February that by splitting off, the company would be able to focus on both expanding Abecma and expanding the pipeline. Since its debut on Wall Street, the company’s stock has steadily declined, reaching a low point early last week.