Dendreon deals body blow to manufacturing ops

Manufacturing takes the biggest hit as Dendreon ($DNDN) crashes back to earth. The formerly high-flying biotech announced late last week it's laying off a quarter of its workforce--500 of 2,000 employees--to cope with slow uptake of Provenge, its prostate cancer vaccine.

Dendreon had reached a staffing level of about 2,000 based on sales projections. The most recent hires were at manufacturing facilities in New Jersey, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Eighty percent of the 500 layoffs will come from these sites, reports the Seattle Times.

The company said it had to reduce the head count in its plants and will opt for a more gradual increase as Provenge takes hold.

The biotech announced earlier it had canceled an $8.3-million contract with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) for supplies of a recombinant prostate antigen that serves a raw material in the production of Provenge.

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