AbbVie slashes 178 Stemcentrx jobs in California

AbbVie will reduce the workforce at a facility run by its acquisition Stemcentrx months after halting enrollment a Phase III trial for lead candidate Rova-T.

In 2016, AbbVie acquired Stemcentrx for approximately $5.8 billion (€5.2 billion), bolstering its oncology pipeline with the addition of late-stage asset rovalpituzumab tesirine (Rova-T) in trials for small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

But this month, AbbVie announced plans to cut jobs at Stemcentrx site in South San Francisco through a Californian Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN).

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The notice says 178 staff will be permanently laid off from May 20 this year.

According to AbbVie’s 2016 acquisition presentation, Stemcentrx had around 200 staff members, so the layoffs essentially wipeout the workforce.

The news comes three months after the company announced it was halting enrollment for the TAHOE Phase III study “due to shorter overall survival in the Rova-T arm compared with the topotecan control arm.”

Rova-T had been touted to provide multi-billion dollar peak revenues for AbbVie – up to $5 billion annually – as an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) potentially targeting solid tumors.

Stemcentrx’s pipeline did includes four additional clinical candidates being evaluated in trials across a range of solid tumors.

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