Exelexis slashes workforce by 70%


US biotech firm Exelexis is cutting around 160 jobs (70% of its workforce). The move follows poor results from a clinical trial of its cancer drug Cometriq (cabozantinib) in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

The job cuts will leave behind just 70 employees, but the firm anticipates that the cost savings will leave it with ‘sufficient cash to support its operations through to the release of top-line results of [a trial of Cometriq in metastatic renal cell carcinoma] next year’.

A glance at Exelexis’ financial results reveals why such drastic cuts are needed. Cometriq is already approved in the US to treat metastatic medullary thyroid cancer, and brought in $6.5 million (£4 million) in revenue in the second quarter of 2014. However, the firm has made overall operating losses of over $55 million in each quarter of the last year, including spending $47–51 million on R&D. With only $87 million in working capital on its balance sheet, cutting staff and any peripheral clinical trial programmes allows the company to continue its most promising trials in the hope of positive results.


Related Content

Takeda slashes 10% of its workforce

20 January 2012 News Archive

news image

Japanese pharmaceutical firm sheds 2800 jobs in the US and Europe after recent takeover of Nycomed

Business roundup

23 February 2009 Business

news image

Industry news, March 2009

Most Read

Mystery of coloured water droplets that chase and repel each other solved

19 March 2015 Research

news image

Discovery could herald sprays that hoover up dirt and keep solar panels clean

Simple cooking changes make healthier rice

23 March 2015 Research

news image

Adding oil to water, cooling and reheating rice makes fibre-like resistant starch, reducing calories

Most Commented

Worrying molecule found in bottled water

9 September 2013 Research

news image

Analysis finds a new endocrine disrupting chemical in bottled water

Impatient chemistry

28 February 2014 Last Retort

news image

Is the pressure to publish making chemists cut corners?