Allozyne “Redistributes” Workforce After Scrapping Poniard Merger Plan
Seattle-based Allozyne has made a small set of job cuts after it was unable to pull the trigger on its plan to go public late last year, Xconomy has learned.
Allozyne has let go some of its scientific staff, according to a source close to the situation. When asked how many jobs were eliminated, and how many employees remain at Allozyne, CEO Meenu Chhabra said there was no downsizing but that “we redistributed functional areas.” That decision came days after Allozyne scrapped a plan to go public through a merger with San Francisco-based Poniard Pharmaceuticals. If the deal had gone through, privately held Allozyne would have gotten a NASDAQ listing that would have enabled it to raise more money from mutual funds, institutions, and hedge funds that only invest in public companies.
“We are gearing up for Phase 3 work and are redistributing the talent to focus on clinical development and regulatory tasks,” Chhabra said via e-mail. “That said, discovery and early stage activities are alive and well.”
She didn’t say exactly how many employees remain at Allozyne, but before Christmas, Chhabra said the company had about 20 employees.
Allozyne has spent about $50 million since its founding in 2005 and was down to its last $1.3 million in cash at the end of June, according to recent regulatory filings. But when Allozyne walked away from the Poniard merger, it raised a still-undisclosed amount of cash from Arch Venture Partners, MPM Capital, and OVP Venture Partners, Chhabra said in a Dec. 22 interview. The money will be used to help the company push ahead with a plan for 2012 to move its lead multiple sclerosis drug into the third and final phase of clinical trials normally required for FDA approval, Chhabra has said.