Zymogenetics, the Seattle-based pharmaceutical company owned by Bristol-Myers Squibb, will start the process of laying off workers and closing its operations in January, according to a notice from Washington State’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification.
The office closure will eliminate 63 jobs starting Dec. 31, the notice said. Zymogenetics was founded in 1981 in Seattle and was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2010 for $885 million.
The company has been winding down its Seattle operations for some time. It moved 40 research and development jobs to San Francisco in 2015, leaving its Seattle operations primarily a manufacturing office.
Then, in 2016, the company announced it would not renew its lease on the historic Lake Union Steam Plant building and would wind down its Seattle operations, giving employees an opportunity to find different positions in the company.
It’s far from the first time a promising Seattle biotech company was acquired only to be shuttered: The city is still reeling from Amgen’s acquisition and closure of Immunex in 2014. Worries of a repeat problem were sparked earlier this year when Celgene acquired Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion.
In an interesting twist, the Zymogenetics’ space will be taken over by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, one of the country’s leading cancer research institutions. The transition is a reflection of Seattle’s continued struggles to create a sustained biotechnology industry, despite a strong bed of research and scientific discovery.