Despite one of biotech's biggest fundraisings of the year, ElevateBio cuts 13% of staff

Even with $401 million in the bank—thanks to one of the year’s largest biotech fundraisings—ElevateBio is still shaving off some preclinical work resulting in layoffs that will affect 13% of the workforce.

“ElevateBio is in a position of strength with the resources to support and scale our growth for many years to come,” a spokesperson told Fierce Biotech Thursday morning.

But in order to “scale in our strongest areas of growth,” Elevate intends to focus on its BaseCamp genomic medicine process development and manufacturing work, plus the Life Edit gene editing platform. That means some preclinical work is being trimmed.

“ElevateBio has made a difficult decision to make modest reductions with our early preclinical work in several therapeutic programs that are years away from the clinic. This resulted in a 13% workforce reduction,” the spokesperson confirmed.

It’s unclear just how many employees will be headed out the door. The company is listed as having around 500 people on LinkedIn.

The company trumpeted a $401 million series D raise in May, one of the largest of the year so far in an industry that has otherwise struggled to access cash. The spokesperson said the year has been “transformative” for ElevateBio, which now has 20 industry partners working with them on gene editing, cGMP manufacturing, and RNA engineering—the highlights being Moderna and Novo Nordisk, who signed on in February and May, respectively.

“Our financial position and balance sheet are very strong and we are experiencing robust customer and revenue growth,” the spokesperson said. “We plan to allocate our significant resources to continue to scale to meet increasing industry demand to access ElevateBio BaseCamp and Life Edit technologies and capabilities.”