The global drug company that acquired Seattle-based Dendreon’s operations in a bankruptcy sale is laying off 77 employees here, according to a WARN notice received by the state Employment Security Department.
The global drug company that acquired Seattle-based Dendreon’s operations in a bankruptcy sale is laying off 77 employees here, according to a WARN notice received by the state Employment Security Department
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International informed Employment Security that the layoffs began Feb. 23, immediately after completion of the $495 million sale of Dendreon’s prostate cancer drug, Provenge, and other assets.
Valeant spokeswoman Laurie Little said in an email that “most of these positions were in G&A functions where there was overlap with Valeant’s existing businesses, especially in corporate and back office functions.”
In a conference call with analysts last week, Valeant said, “We believe we can accelerate the growth of Provenge over the coming years.”
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Dendreon developed the first cancer immunotherapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration, targeting advanced cases of prostate cancer that didn’t respond to other treatments.
But the $93,000-per-patient drug was not as widely embraced as the company projected. It only added a few months of added life expectancy, and competing treatments came along that didn’t involve the complex, individualized process that Dendreon used to boost the cancer-fighting ability of a patient’s own cells.
Dendreon built expensive cell-processing facilities in three states to handle the anticipated demand, but sold two of them last year as it cut back and headed into bankruptcy.
The price Valeant paid included $80 million of Dendreon cash, so the actual amount paid for the assets is $415 million.
In early 2012 Dendreon had 1,475 employees. But when it filed for Chapter 11 protection on Nov. 10 with debts of more than $664 million and assets valued at $365 million, Dendreon said it had only 698 employees.
That work force included 507 salaried employees and 191 hourly employees, according to bankruptcy filings. The number in Seattle was not disclosed.