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ImmunoGen cutting 65 jobs after strategic review

Waltham biotech company ImmunoGen Inc. said Thursday that it will eliminate 65 jobs — a reduction of 17 percent — after a strategic review led by its new chief executive.

The cuts, which will primarily affect employees in technical operations and general administrative functions, will enable ImmunoGen to save about $11 million annually, according to a company statement. The company said it plans to take a one-time accounting charge of $3.5 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30 to cover the cost of termination benefits.

ImmunoGen markets a technology that helps cancer drugs fight tumors, and the cost savings will give it the resources to focus on a late-stage trial of a drug to treat ovarian cancer.


After the cuts, the company will have approximately 320 employees, a spokesman said.

Mark Enyedy, who was named the company’s chief executive in April, called the move “a necessary step to build a leaner and more agile organization, better positioned to execute on our strategic objectives.” He said ImmunoGen wants to extend its cash, improve its operating performance, and revise its approach to managing clinical studies.

ImmunoGen, spun out of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s predecessor hospital in the early 1980s, helped develop a new class of drugs called antibody-drug conjugates, complete with a delivery system that enables medicines to bind to tumors.

Its technology has been used to make other cancer drugs more effective, enabling therapies such as the breast cancer drug Kadcyla, marketed by the Genentech division of Swiss drug giant Roche AG, which releases cancer-killing toxins that don’t harm healthy cells.

Robert Weisman can be reached at robert.weisman@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.