Array BioPharma axes 70 as it cuts back on discovery work

Boulder, CO-based Array BioPharma is taking the budget axe out to take a chop down its discovery expenses. In a release the biotech said that it is laying off 70 workers--or 20 percent of its workforce, most of whom are involved in discovery and support work--as it balances expenses between the R and D sides of the business.

The focus at Array, says CEO Robert Conway, is on partnered programs with Amgen, Celgene and Genentech along with ongoing efforts to advance a select set of new drug programs that have partnership potential. The aim now, adds the biotech, is to reduce its net cash burn rate for fiscal 2012 by $20 million.

"It is extremely difficult to release these outstanding people who have contributed substantially to the Company over the years, but these actions are necessary given our need to focus resources on our key clinical development programs," said CEO Robert Conway. "We look forward to a number of potential value-creating events during the second half of 2011 including Phase 2 combination data on selumetinib in patients with melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer; Phase 2 data on ARRY-520 in multiple myeloma patients and Phase 1 data on ARRY-614 in MDS patients."

This restructuring comes two-and-a-half years after Array laid out plans to lay off 10 percent of its workers at the beginning of 2009.

- here's the Array release