Argos Therapeutics will eliminate 13% of its workforce—18 employees—in a restructuring it said was designed to streamline operations and lower its operating expenses.

Argos said it expected to complete its layoffs by the end of this month, resulting in a workforce of 117 employees.

The layoffs come as Argos seeks to stretch its available cash—and raise additional financing—to complete a pivotal trial for its immunotherapy AGS-003 for renal cell carcinoma.

“The company does not expect the workforce action plan to have any impact on the expected timeline for its Phase 3 ADAPT trial,” Argos stated yesterday in the regulatory filing through which it disclosed the layoffs.

Argos finished 2015 with only $7.2 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments, compared with $56.2 million as of December 31, 2014.

On March 7, however, the company said it reached an agreement with investors to sell up to $60 million of Argos common stock and warrants in a private placement financing—enough to fund operations into the second quarter of 2017, when the company expects to generate final data from ADAPT.

Participants in the financing include Pharmstandard International, Forargos, Tianyi Lummy International Holdings Group, China BioPharma Capital I, L.P., TVM V Life Science Ventures, and Wasatch Funds Trust.

Argos said it expected to incur approximately $0.4 million in total costs associated with the workforce reduction—costs to be accounted for over the second and third quarters of this year. The layoffs are projected to decrease Argos’ annual operating costs by $2.3 million.

“We needed to become a bit more efficient and cost effective,” Argos CEO told the Triangle Business Journal, adding, “It’s never an easy decision to have to let people go.”

Four days before the regulatory filing, the company said, COO Frederick M. Miesowicz, Ph.D., notified Argos of his intention to resign effective Friday. The company said it expected to enter into a consulting arrangement with Dr. Miesowicz that will continue through mid-2017, when he expects to retire, although terms of his engagement have not been finalized.

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