Launching your first clinical trial is the type of announcement most biotech executives eagerly anticipate, hoping to celebrate with employees. But for Celsius Therapeutics CEO Tariq Kassum, it’s proving to be more difficult than he anticipated.
That’s because in recent days, Celsius, based in Cambridge, Mass., has been forced to conduct a round of layoffs, sources told STAT. Kassum confirmed around 75% of Celsius’ 40-person team had been laid off, and disclosed that the biotech has also been quietly paring back its pipeline this year. It shut down almost all early-stage research projects, including pausing all of its cancer drug work, in order to conserve enough cash for the Phase 1 trial it announced this week.