Abgenix Pares Its Ranks

The company is cutting 15% of its staff, mostly in research.
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is cutting 15% of its staff as part of a consolidation plan to focus its resources on its development pipeline, the company said Tuesday.

In a move to devote more resources to one experimental cancer drug, panitumumab, Abgenix will cut about 58 jobs and consolidate its research and preclinical activities into the company's facility in Burnaby, British Columbia. The Fremont, Calif., company plans to sublease the research space near its headquarters but will retain its trial and manufacturing facilities.

The jobs being terminated are mostly research staff, and the total includes employees who were offered the option to relocate to the Burnaby facility. Abgenix currently has about 520 workers.

"These adjustments will enable us to expand our development and commercial operations later this year and next, as we prepare for the manufacturing and potential co-promotion of panitumumab with our partner,


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," Abgenix President and CEO Bill Ringo said in a prepared statement.

Abgenix expects to record a restructuring charge of $13 million to $16 million, mostly in the second quarter, including about $11 million to $13 million related to lease obligations and $2 million to $3 million for severance, relocation and other termination benefits.

Shares of Abgenix were up 1 cent to $8.73.