Biotech layoffs in 2024: Identifying common threads among affected companies

[Image courtesy of ipopba/Adobe Stock]

Companies across the industry have contributed to biotech layoffs in early 2024, driven by factors ranging from operational restructuring to strategic pivots and clinical trial failures, with major hubs like California and Massachusetts bearing the brunt of the impact. A recent analysis assembled with the help a machine learning technique known as clustering reveals a pattern of job cuts across various groups, from diversified biotechs to strategic pivots. 

1. Diversified biotechs seek operational efficiency

Companies within this cluster, including giants such as Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific but also smaller players like NanoString Technologies, encountered layoffs primarily as a result of operational reorganizations. Illumina’s significant layoffs were a part of a $100M cost-cutting initiative following the failed acquisition of cancer test maker Grail. Nano…

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