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April 17, 2024

Worcester biopharmaceutical firm Mustang Bio to lay off 81% of staff

A brick and glass building with green shrubs in front. Photo | Courtesy Mustang Bio Mustang Bio's building in Worcester

Mustang Bio will reduce its workforce by approximately 81% following a vote by the board of directors, according to a regulatory filing.

Mustang Bio, a Worcester-based biopharmaceutical company, collaborates with academic institutions to utilize medical breakthroughs in cell and gene therapies to develop new treatments.

The staff reduction is in response to the current fundraising environment and uncertainty concerning a Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States review of the company’s sale of its Worcester facility to uBriGene Biosciences of Boston, which has ties to China. The sales assets pertaining to manufacturing of cell and gene therapies at the location, according to an April 10 filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.

The $11-million acquisition of the 27,000-square-foot development, manufacturing, and testing facility by the Boston firm, a subsidiary of China-based uBriGene Group, took place in May.

The layoffs are expected to start in April and be completed during the second quarter of the year. Mustang Bio expects to accrue approximately $200,000 in personnel-related restructuring charges. 

The company had 78 employees in Central Massachusetts and 80 overall as of January, according to a survey the company filled out for the WBJ Research Department.

Mustang Bio didn’t not return requests for comment from WBJ.

The employee reduction comes after Mustang Bio reported a net loss of $14.4 million for the company’s second quarter in August 2021, and in 2022, announced $75 million in debt refinancing with Runway Growth Capital of California.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated on April 22 to reflect the more recent employment number of 80 at Mustang Bio.

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