Layoffs at Mascoma, Javelin

11/14/08Follow @wroush

Another day, another bundle of layoffs.

Boston-based biofuels startup Mascoma is laying off between five and 10 employees, according to a report today in the Boston Globe. That’s about 10 percent of the company’s staff, which numbers around 100.*

Mascoma, which is building demonstration fermentation plants to convert sugars from high-cellulose material such as wood chips into ethanol, has pulled in tens of millions of dollars in state and federal grants, but apparently that money hasn’t made up for the growing scarcity of financing; Mascoma CEO Bruce Jamerson told the Globe that the staff cuts are “frankly being driven by what’s going on in the capital markets.”

According to the report, Mascoma president Colin South is among those being let go—which is unexpected, given that South was representing Mascoma, even giving a brief talk about the company, as recently as this Wednesday evening. South spoke at an energy entrepreneurship dinner cosponsored by Polaris Venture Partners and the MIT Venture Capital and Private Equity Club.

Meanwhile, Cambridge, MA-based Javelin Pharmaceuticals issued a release today saying that it has cut its staff by 15 percent, from 44 employees to 37. Javelin will redirect the funds to its clinical studies of three candidate pain-management drugs, according to a story in FierceBiotech.

We have updated our Boston Tech Layoff Tracker—now up to 1,380 jobs—with the newest data.

* Correction, 3:30 pm 11/14/08: The first version of this article stated that Mascoma had 20 employees. That’s the number of employees in the Boston office; the company’s total staff (before the layoffs) was approximately 100.

Wade Roush is Chief Correspondent and Editor At Large at Xconomy. You can subscribe to his Google Group or e-mail him at wroush@xconomy.com. Follow @wroush

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