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Why is Argos Therapeutics (ARGS) Stock is Tanking Today?

On Wednesday, shares of biopharmaceutical company Argos Therapeutics ARGS are tanking, down over 22% in mid-morning trading after the company said it is cutting 13% of its workforce to help cut costs. Argos’ chief operating officer is also stepping down.

In a securities filing, Argos said the job cuts represent 18 employees, reducing the company’s total employee headcount to 117; the layoffs are projected to cost Argos around $400,000 but decrease costs by $2.3 million on an annual basis.

Argos CEO Jeff Abbey said in an interview with The Triangle Business Journal that “[i]t’s never an easy decision to have to let people go. We needed to become a bit more efficient and cost effective.”

COO Fred Miesowicz is stepping down but will remain as a consultant with Argos. He "notified the Company of his intention to resign from that position effective as of April 22, 2016," Argos reported. "The Company expects to enter into a consulting arrangement with Dr. Miesowicz that will continue through mid-2017, when Dr. Miesowicz expects to retire. However, the terms of his engagement have not been finalized."

Currently, Argos is in the middles of a significant Phase 3 clinical trial for its immunotherapy that targets cancer. The drug, AGS-003, is a dendritic-cell-based immunotherapy designed to give a patient’s immune T-cells a response targeting to his or her unique tumor antigens. In the filing, Argos said it "does not expect the workforce action plan to have any impact on the expected timeline for its Phase 3 ADAPT trial."

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