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Exelixis Announces Corporate Restructuring, Layoffs, Details Pipeline Priorities

NEW YORK – Exelixis, which is developing several precision oncology drugs, has decided to restructure its business and focus its resources on clinical and near-clinical pipeline assets, the company said in announcing its preliminary 2023 financial results this week.

Exelixis, which also reported preliminary FY 2023 revenues of $1.83 billion, said that as part of the restructuring, it would reduce its workforce by 13 percent, laying off approximately 175 employees. The restructuring is expected to be complete in Q1 2024, resulting in a $25 million charge in Q1 2024.

Simultaneously, Exelixis said it will repurchase $450 million of its common stock in 2024. In 2023, Exelixis repurchased 26.2 million shares of its common stock, or 8 percent of outstanding shares, for $550 million.

The Alameda, California-based drugmaker plans this year to advance clinical trials for several assets, including the third-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor zanzalintinib, the tissue factor-targeting antibody-drug conjugate XB002, and the USP1 inhibitor XL309. It will also pursue regulatory filings to expand the use of the multi-kinase inhibitor Cabometyx (cabozantinib), already sold as a treatment for several first-line cancer indications, into metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Exelixis is evaluating zanzalintinib in three pivotal trials in colorectal cancer, non-clear renal cell carcinoma, and in PD-L1-positive non-squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, a trial that the company launched in December 2023. It is studying XB002 in a range of cancers, including hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative and triple-negative breast cancers. As for XL309, an agent licensed from Insilico Medicine in September 2023, Exelixis will continue a Phase I trial in patients with advanced solid tumors and investigate it as a potential therapy for tumors that are refractory to PARP inhibitor therapy.

In a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference on Tuesday, the company said it will continue developing the SIRPα-blocking antibody ADU-1805 in patients with advanced solid tumors within the partnership it inked with Sairopa last year. However, Exelixis has discontinued several pipeline programs, including a Phase I trial of the CDK7 inhibitor XL102 in advanced solid tumors that involved biomarker testing. On Friday, BioInvent said Exelixis has also terminated an option and license agreement around the discovery of antibodies for immuno-oncology therapeutics.