Kosan axes staffers (again), scouts for partners

Kosan Biosciences is laying off more than a third of its 91 workers as the developer concentrates its resources around its lead cancer therapies in a restructuring that has also shuffled its newly appointed president into the CEO's post. Altogether 31 workers are being pink slipped, and Kosan says it may seek out partners among developers looking for early-stage prospects. This isn't the first cutback at Kosan. A year ago the Hayward, CA-based developer slashed 39 jobs and reduced its payroll to 80.

"We believe that this restructuring will strengthen our ability to effectively manage our resources, execute on our development goals and advance our high-value, near-term commercial opportunities," said Helen Kim, the new CEO. Kim joined Kosan as a senior VP in January and was named president last month.

Kosan will circle the wagons around its lead clinical programs: tanespimycin in multiple myeloma and in metastatic breast cancer, and epothilone KOS-1584 in non-small lung cancer.

- read Kosan's release for more
- check out the report from the East Bay Business Journal