Bristol Myers Squibb cuts hundreds of Mirati staffers months after closing $5.8B buyout

Two months after closing its multibillion-dollar acquisition of Mirati Therapeutics, Bristol Myers Squibb is bidding adieu to more than 250 workers at the biotech's headquarters in California. 

In a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice, BMS said it's laying off 252 staffers at 3545 Cray Court in San Diego. That's the headquarters of cancer specialist Mirati, according to that company's financial filings.

The cuts come shortly after the companies closed their M&A deal in late January. Back in October, BMS agreed to pay $4.8 billion for the commercial biotech, plus $1 billion through a contingent value right tied to the regulatory advancement of a pipeline drug.

With the Mirati buyout, BMS picked up the FDA-approved non-small cell lung cancer drug Krazati, a KRAS inhibitor that's going up against Amgen's Lumakras. In the first nine months of last year, the drug generated around $36 million, Mirati reported in November.

In a statement, a BMS spokesperson said the company is "very pleased" to have closed the deal.

"As part of the integration, we are aligning resources to best support our operating model and our portfolio evolution," the spokesperson added. "Unfortunately, some of our employees have been impacted as a result of these changes and a top priority for us is supporting employees throughout the transition process."

The layoffs become effective April 22, according to the WARN disclosure.

It's not uncommon for large drugmakers to cut staffers at an acquired company after an M&A play. Just this month, GSK said it's parting ways with some Bellus Health staffers after buying that company for $2 billion.

As for other examples in recent years, Merck trimmed ranks at Acceleron after a sizable buyout, while Sanofi let go of two dozen Kadmon workers after a $1.9 billion deal. 

Besides the cuts on the West Coast, BMS recently disclosed 75 layoffs in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, where it operates R&D and commercial facilities.