Abgenix slashes staff, concentrates on panitumumab

Abgenix plans to lay off about 15 percent of its work force -- some 58 employees -- as it concentrates its research efforts on pipeline development. As part of the restructuring, Abgenix will sublease research space in California. It is retaining trial and manufacturing facilities. Officials say they will focus more on its most promising drug candidate -- panitumumab -- which is being developed with Amgen as a cancer therapy.

"We concluded from our strategic review that we have excess capacity, primarily in our research personnel and facilities, and believe we will maximize efficiency by consolidating our research and preclinical activities in our Canadian location," said Bill Ringo, president and CEO of Abgenix. "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, Amgen."

- read this press release for more