Biopharmaceutical Company Exelixis To Cut Staff by 70%

Exelixis, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company based in South San Francisco, will reduce its workforce by approximately 70%, or approximately 160 employees, resulting in approximately 70 remaining employees. The move comes after not meeting a clinical endpoint for a Phase III trial of a prostate indication for cabozantinib, the company’s only commercial product. Cometriq ​ (cabozantinib) is currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). The European Commission granted Cometriq ​ conditional approval for the treatment of adult patients with progressive, unresectable locally advanced or metastatic MTC.

The company reported that its results from the final analysis of COMET-1, a Phase III trial of cabozantinib in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) whose disease progressed after treatment with docetaxel as well as abiraterone and/or enzalutamide did not meet its primary endpoint of demonstrating a statistically significant increase in overall survival for patients treated with cabozantinib as compared to prednisone.

As a result of the outcome of COMET-1, Exelixis will initiate a significant workforce reduction to enable the company to focus its financial resources on the late-stage clinical trials of cabozantinib in metastatic renal cell carcinoma (the METEOR trial) and advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (the CELESTIAL trial). Exelixis anticipates the one-time restructuring charge associated with the workforce reduction to be approximately $6 million to  $8 million, with the majority to be completed by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. As a result of this and other cost-saving measures contemplated, the company anticipates that it has sufficient cash to support its operations through the release of top-line results of the METEOR trial next year. More financial details will be provided by the company in its third quarter 2014 financial report.

Cabozantinib inhibits the activity of tyrosine kinases including MET, VEGFRs and RET. These receptor tyrosine kinases are involved in both normal cellular function and in pathologic processes such as oncogenesis, metastasis, tumor angiogenesis, and maintenance of the tumor microenvironment. 

Source: Exelixis,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *