Gilead Sciences will lay off 114 staffers based out of former Immunomedics headquarters

When Gilead Sciences picked up Immunomedics and the breast cancer drug Trodelvy for $21 billion a couple years back, the company billed the buyout as a major expansion into oncology. Now, the California-based drugmaker is laying off more than 100 staffers based out of the former Immunomedics headquarters as it gears up for change in New Jersey.

In a New Jersey Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filing, Gilead disclosed 114 layoffs that will take effect in April, September and December. A Gilead spokesperson said the company plans "to relocate the New Jersey site to a new, larger space in the surrounding Morris Plains area." The new site is "still being finalized" and will be a corporate office with no manufacturing, she said.

The layoffs affect employees at the company's Morris Plains site, according to the WARN filing. Gilead's official website lists one facility at 300 The American Road in Morris Plains among its U.S. locations. That's the former headquarters of Immunomedics, according to internet records. 

Gilead's representative did not directly address questions about whether the affected employees are former Immunomedics staffers nor did she detail their job duties.

"Gilead remains committed to establishing our New Jersey location as a talent hub that will further solidify our East Coast presence, support future growth and attract the best candidates in the region," she said in an email.

The news comes in the same week that Gilead reported positive, albeit unclear, results for Trodelvy in heavily pretreated patients with HR-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. While the drug turned in a “statistically significant” improvement over chemotherapy in progression-free survival, investors are zeroed in on whether the benefit will prove to be "clinically meaningful."

“There is a broad range of views on what is ‘clinically meaningful’ in this population,” Gilead said in a securities filing. “We are evaluating the data and will explore potential pathways with regulatory authorities to bring Trodelvy to this group of patients.”

Facing ramped-up pressure in HIV from GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead has turned to oncology in a bid to grow revenues in a hot field. The Immunomedics buyout, its largest ever, was a major part of that push. 

Trodelvy is approved in triple-negative breast cancer and bladder cancer, but expansion into HR-positive, HER2-negative represents a high-stakes opportunity for the drugmaker. Gilead plans to share full details from the TROPiCS-02 trial at an upcoming medical meeting.