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California drug company ImmunityBio cuts jobs at Louisville office

LOUISVILLE — ImmunityBio Inc. (Nasdaq: IBRX), a struggling California-based drug company that develops therapies to fight cancers and infectious diseases, is laying off 48 workers in its Louisville satellite office.

Jobs being cut include scientists, engineers, numerous administrative roles, heating and air-conditioning technicians, executive director of enterprise programming, senior managers of  various departments and a vice president of financial planning, according to a letter provided by ImmunityBio to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act manager. 

The layoffs are permanent, said the letter, which was also sent to elected officials in Louisville, Broomfield, Lafayette, Superior, Longmont, Westminster Denver, Arvada, Parker and Morrison. WARN notice letters are often sent to officials in cities where impacted workers live. 

The layoffs at ImmunityBio, representatives of which did not immediately respond to requests for comment late Tuesday morning, include employees at “satellite worksites and remote workers,” none of whom are represented by a union.

The layoffs will take place on Oct. 17, the WARN letter said. 

The Culver City, California life-sciences firm has a Louisville satellite office at 1450 Infinite Drive, which it took over from GlobeImmune Inc.

In 2017, California-based NantCell Inc., a subsidiary of life-sciences umbrella company NantWorks LLC, bought the majority of shares in Louisville’s GlobeImmune, giving it control over the then beleaguered oncology therapy developer. Then in 2021, ImmunityBio merged with NantKwest Inc. (Nasdaq: NK), another NantCell subsidiary, bringing the Louisville office under Immunity’s purview.

ImmunityBio is “undertaking this layoff in order to streamline operations to focus on the

company’s current business strategy and reduce costs,” the WARN letter said. 

ImmunityBio’s stock price has slid more than 70% since mid-May, when the company was notified by the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration that its bladder cancer drug candidate would not be immediately approved. Last fall, ImmunityBio said it expected to hire 300 new workers for a facility in New York, media reports show, but backtracked on that pledge and instead cut nearly 40 jobs.

Source: BizWest