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Waltham Pharmaceutical Company Lays Off Over Half Its Workforce In Reverse Merger

Route 128 in suburban Boston

Thanks to a failed drug trial, a Route 128 pharmaceutical company is shedding staff while getting stuck with an excess of office space. 

Cerulean Pharma announced Monday it would fire over half its employees, sell off its lead cancer drugs and combine with San Diego biotech company Daré Bioscience through a reverse merger. The stock purchase agreement with the California company gives majority ownership of Cerulean to Daré shareholders, the Boston Business Journal reports.

The Waltham company will only have eight employees in its 30K SF office once the business plan is executed. Sublease availability is rising along the Route 128 corridor in part from pharmaceutical companies having layoffs after failed drug trials. Cerulean had reduced its employee count from 55 to 23 last August when its CRLX101 drug to treat patients with liver cancer failed its Phase 2 trial. Repeated calls to Cerulean for comment went unanswered.