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September 30, 2016

ImmunoGen Cuts 65 Jobs, 17% of Workforce, Refocuses on Cancer ADCs

  • ImmunoGen will eliminate 65 jobs—17% of its workforce—and pursue partners for noncore programs aimed at developing treatments for noncore B-cell lymphoma, the company said.

    ImmunoGen said the jobs to be eliminated consist of Technical Operations and general and administrative (G&A) positions. “Approximately 320 employees will remain after the plan is fully implemented,” ImmunoGen stated in a regulatory filing yesterday.

    The company plans to record a one-time charge totaling approximately $3.5 million related to termination benefits and other related expenses, with most of the charge expected to be recorded in the quarter ending today.

    The workforce reduction is projected to save approximately $11 million per year.“We have taken this necessary step to build a leaner and more agile organization, better positioned to execute on our strategic objectives,” ImmunoGen President and CEO Mark Enyedy, said in a statement. “As part of this effort, we restructured our Technical Operations, substantially reduced G&A, and revised our approach to managing clinical trials."

    “By adapting how we work and aligning our portfolio priorities, we will improve operating performance, extend our cash position, and enable the Company to create value on a sustainable basis,” Enyedy added.

    The restructuring will refocus the company further on developing antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) to fight cancer.

    To that end, ImmunoGen said, it expects to focus on conducting the Phase III trial of mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853), an ADC being developed to treat patients with folate receptor alpha (FRα)-positive cancer, as well as accelerating the development of its programs:

    • IMGN779, a Phase I novel, DNA-alkylating ADC being developed as a potential treatment for cancers that express CD33, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML). IMGN779 is designed to selectively target cancer cells that express CD33 and kill them via the DNA-acting payload agent DGN462
    • IMGN632, a new CD123-targeting preclinical stage ADC that is a potential treatment for AML, myelodysplastic syndrome, B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia, and other CD123-positive malignancies.

    Among priorities identified by ImmunoGen are maintaining “critical scale” in its research operations to continue ADC development as well as existing and new partnerships and obtaining full marketing approval for lead program mirvetuximab soravtansine, which will enter Phase III development next quarter.

    The company said it expects to fund its operations through an interim analysis of the mirvetuximab soravtansine trial and into mid-2018.

    ImmunoGen also plans to find partners for its noncore B-cell lymphoma treatment programs, namely IMGN529, a potential treatment for patients with CD37-positive B-cell malignancies such as non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and coltuximab ravtansine (formerly SAR3419), a CD19-targeting ADC created by ImmunoGen to treat diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and other B-cell malignancies.

    In the regulatory filing, ImmunoGen added that it plans to find subtenants for 10,281 square feet of unoccupied office space in Waltham, MA, that the company agreed to lease in February.

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