Progenics slashes staff, closes facility and narrows focus in latest restructuring

The Tarrytown, NY-based Progenics Pharmaceuticals outlined plans to cut 38 staffers--about a quarter of its staff--and narrow its discovery focus to oncology as it pares back the burn rate. The biotech also plans to close its cGMP manufacturing facility.

CEO Mark Baker, who joined the troubled biotech earlier this year, billed the moves as a strategic effort aimed at making the company leaner, nimbler and more decisive. But it's not the first cutback at the biotech. Progenics announced plans to trim 10% of its workforce in 2009, when the developer had close to 250 employees. It's now down to far less than half that number.

"We have enhanced our focus," says Baker. "We had been operating across too many therapeutic areas and became spread too thin. As a result, our resources and attention were divided in a way that caused inefficiencies, and blocked us from maximizing the potential of our programs. We have elected to concentrate on oncology, where we can be among the best and bring needed therapies to a growing market. We already have excellent research and clinical capabilities in oncology and expect that our expertise and commitment will allow us to attract new opportunities in that field."

- here's the Progenics release