BROOMFIELD — AktiVax Inc., a Broomfield-based pharmaceutical company that does business as Aktiv Pharma Group, will shut down “substantially all” of its operations in Broomfield and Fort Collins.
The closure will affect 70 workers and was reported to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Tuesday under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act. The WARN Act requires advance notice of layoffs for companies under certain conditions.
“Unfortunately, due to unexpected circumstances, the company must shut down substantially all of its operations,” the letter from CEO Amir Genosar said. “We are sending you notice as soon as was practicable to do so. This notice is based on the best information available to the company at the time of the notice.”
Plants at 100 Technology Drive in Broomfield and 1313 Duff Drive in Fort Collins will be shut down permanently, according to the WARN filing. Layoffs also will occur at 1413 Duff Drive in Fort Collins. Genosar said in a text message to BizWest that the company “intends to bring back up the Duff Drive activity next year.”
Aktiv Pharma has been working with the U.S. government for the past decade to develop a “modernized autoinjector platform” that could be used to supply a nerve-agent antidote. The company announced in October 2022 that it had secured a contract valued at up to $220 million to supply the auto injectors to the Strategic National Stockpile. The contract from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority was to last up to seven years but was contingent on the device receiving regulatory approval.
“We had been ramping up our manufacturing here in Colorado to support the needs of our warfighters in the Department of Defense and our public through support to the Strategic National Stockpile managed by the Department of Health and Human Services,” Genosar said in a statement emailed to BizWest. “Entering the market with new medical countermeasures, particularly when they are domestically produced, is an endeavor that poses many risks.
“Unfortunately, some of our planning assumptions were not realized, and we had to curtail our scale-up plans for the time being, which has led us to reduce our workforce until conditions change. Our organization, our team, and technology are considered by many in the U.S. government and among our competitors as leading in the field and being the best solution for the government.”
Layoffs were scheduled to begin Aug. 25. Affected employees enjoy no bumping rights and are not in a union.
“The team that we laid off is a group of extremely skilled, talented, motivated, and committed individuals, who demonstrated high work ethics in their time with us and will bring tremendous value to their new employer,” Genosar said. “We encourage our community to pay attention to these hiring opportunities and would love to provide references for each one of them.”
Aktiv will continue work as a contract-development and manufacturing organization, Genosar said, including work on advanced packaging for biologics and mRNA treatments.
“This work will continue with our pharma collaborators and is not interrupted by current events,” he said.
Aktiv Pharma was a finalist for the Colorado Bioscience Associations’ “Company of the Year,” award in 2002.