Watertown Life Science has cut its staff by more than half and replaced its CEO

SQZ Biotechnology announced more than half of the company’s layoffs and appointed a new CEO following the resignation of its predecessor. The company’s research focuses on cell therapy.

The Watertown-based company announced on November 30, 2022 that Armon Shari will step down as CEO and Board of Directors. The board named Howard Bernstein, former chief scientific officer and current director, as interim CEO.

Bernard Cooley, Chairman of SQZ Biotechnologies, said, “The Board and I are deeply grateful to Armond for his vision and leadership at SQZ over the past ten years and his continued willingness to advise the Company and the Board. “As we move into the next phase, I am very confident in the company’s ability to advance the eAPC program into clinical research next year, and I am excited to explore the program’s full potential.”

Shari founded the company in 2013 and designed the company’s Cell Squeeze® platform technology. The company will focus on its second-generation Enhanced Antigen Presenting Cells (eAPC) cell therapy program, according to SQZ’s announcement. The company will also temporarily suspend its APC, Antigen Carrier (AAC) and Tolerizing Antigen Carrier (TAC) programs.

In addition, CFO Mika Zajic will be leaving SQZ Biotechnologies effective December 31, 2022.

The SQZ Board also approved a restructuring plan for SQZ, which will reduce the company’s workforce by approximately 60 percent. The cuts will “extend the company’s cash runway” through 2024, according to a company statement.

SQZ is located in the historic former US Army Arsenal building next to Arsenal Park and is part of the Arsenal Yard complex.

See SQZ Biotechnologies Statement click here.

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