uniQure to axe jobs and consolidate operations in cost-saving measures
The company announced Tuesday it is refocusing its pipeline, consolidating manufacturing and reducing its workforce by up to 25% over the next year following a strategic review of its operations.
Over the next few months, all GMP manufacturing will be consolidated at the company’s 50,000 sq ft single-use facility in Lexington, Massachusetts which began operations last December.
This will include moving production of its lead gene therapy product Glybera (alipogene tiparvovec) from The Netherlands to the US, though a small R&D site will be maintained in Amsterdam, the firm said.
Glybera - its treatment designed to compensate for lipoprotein lipase deficiency (LPLD), made using insect cells and baculoviruses - became the first gene therapy to achieve regulatory approval in Europe in 2012.
Today’s announcement sees uniQure refocusing its pipeline on hemophilia B, Huntington’s disease and liver-directed diseases, while it named the collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb in cardiovascular diseases – a deal which could potentially net the firm up to $2bn - to be a top priority.
As for the jobs, between 50 and 60 are set to go resulting in a cost saving of up to €6m ($.4m) annually.
“Additionally, the Company expects to further reduce planned operating expenses by €11 to €15 million over the next two years through the focusing of its pipeline,” the company said in a press release.
While yet to present its third quarter 2016 financials, the firm reported operating costs in Q2 of €20m, resulting in an overall net loss of €19m.
“Based on its strong cash position and the above actions, uniQure believes its existing cash resources will be sufficient to fund operations into 2019.”