2seventy banks big on Abecma as it cuts 40% of workforce

2seventy says it is refocusing its efforts on CAR-T therapy Abecma as a restructure sees it cut 176 jobs to help free up $130+ million.

Millie Nelson, Editor

September 13, 2023

2 Min Read
2seventy banks big on Abecma as it cuts 40% of workforce

2seventy says it is refocusing its efforts on CAR-T therapy Abecma as a restructure sees it cut 176 jobs – 40% of its workforce – to help free up $130+ million.

Having spun-out of Bluebird bio in 2021, 2seventy took responsibility for codeveloping Abecma (ide-cel) with Bristol Myers Squibb and saw success months later when the anti-B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy won US approval for multiple myeloma

2seventy’s decision to reduce headcount this week follows expectation there will be a decline in Abecma sales during the third quarter this year, with revenue likely to be lower than the $470-$570 million range previously anticipated.



While partner Bristol Myers Squibb warned stakeholders last month of sales disruption in Q3 due to a maintenance-related shutdown at its plant in Summit, New Jersey, Christopher Boerner, chief operating officer, added this week at the Morgan Stanley Healthcare Conference “competitive dynamics from bispecifics” have also affected revenues.

Both 2seventy and Bristol Myers are hoping to address the revenue hit by bringing Abecma to a larger patient population. Currently, the CAR-T is approved as a fifth line treatment but KarMMa-3, which is expected to wrap up in mid-December, hopes to win approval as an earlier line of treatment.

This anticipated approval has kept optimism high at 2seventy, though the firm said restructuring was necessary to preserve its cash runway into at least 2026.

Beyond the axing of jobs, the company will slash its internal pipeline and is gating its at-risk investment in bbT369 (NHL) and SC-DARIC33 (AML) programs pending further clinical data readouts. However, a collaboration with JW Therapeutics, first announced in November 2022, will actually be expanded to include solid tumor and autoimmune programs.

Through these measures, the firm expects to save at least $65 million a year, approximately $130 million in the 2024-2025 period.

Nick Leschly, 2seventy’s “chief kairos office” (ahem, CEO), will also step down once the board has identified his successor. He will take position of chairman of the board after this transition has taken place.

“2seventy’s mission remains the same: to unleash the power of the T-cell and develop un-incremental treatments for people living with cancer,” said Leschly.

“However, the macro environment for oncology cell therapy companies and the near-term headwinds we have seen in our own business have led us to examine how we pursue our mission. Today we are taking hard but necessary steps to streamline our team and optimize our R&D approach and cost structure. In this process, we have focused on how to move efficiently and more cost effectively to develop innovative therapies for patients and create value for shareholders.”

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

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