Seattle Layoff Update: Imperium, Daptiv, General Dynamics, Cell Therapeutics, Trubion Cut Staff

3/13/09Follow @gthuang

At least five area companies that we watch at Xconomy have had significant layoffs in the past two weeks. They span the fields of energy, biotech, hardware, and software. The sad part is that none of these cases is particularly surprising. You can check our updated list of tech and life sciences layoffs in the Northwest here.

Here’s a roundup of the carnage from the past couple of weeks:

—Imperium Renewables announced yesterday it has laid off 24 workers at its biodiesel production facility in Grays Harbor, WA. (An undisclosed number of employees remain there.) The company said the cuts were made because of reduced demand for biodiesel, high feedstock prices, and highly volatile petroleum fuel markets. “These are difficult choices that will allow Imperium to survive and grow when the market turns around for the biofuels industry,” said John Plaza, founder and CEO of Imperium, in a statement. “We understand this is a difficult blow to the Grays Harbor community. We remain committed to Grays Harbor and are doing everything we can to reverse the course our industry has taken.”

—Cell Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CTIC) in Seattle cut 34 jobs, or about 28 percent of its workforce, leaving it with about 88 employees, as Luke reported last week. The move is connected to the biotech firm’s sale of its lone approved cancer drug, Zevalin. Cell Therapeutics has run dangerously low on cash. Two weeks ago, the company said it is closing its drug research center in Bresso, Italy, where it has 62 employees.

—Seattle-based Daptiv, which makes online project management software, cut about 24 positions two weeks ago, as reported by John Cook of TechFlash. The layoff leaves the company with about 100 employees. Daptiv was founded in 1997 (as eProject), and helps businesses manage their tasks, resources, documents, and portfolios.

—Spokane, WA-based General Dynamics Itronix, a maker of rugged laptops and mobile devices for field use, is closing its facility in Spokane Valley, which employs 353 people. The closure is effective April 24. The company has offices in Canada and Europe as well.

—Seattle-based Trubion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: TRBN) cut a quarter of its workforce (about 25 jobs) two weeks ago, leaving it with a staff of about 75, as Luke reported. The move affects most areas of the company, and is part of a restructuring designed to invest in near-term opportunities such as a drug candidate for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Trubion says the cuts will help it conserve enough cash to operate into the second half of 2010.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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  • John Pflaum

    There are some very good companies here. They will come back and have strong balance sheets again. There is one exception. Word on the street is Daptiv is broken and the senior management is B-league at best. Apparently they have been burning through VC money and it is now gone. The CEO is a former F5 executive. I guess that would explain it.