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SAN DIEGO — Fate Therapeutics, a biotech upstart with big ambitions to use cell-based therapies to treat autoimmune diseases and cancer, is now planning to cut back on both jobs and experimental drugs after an early end to a deal with Janssen.

The setback, announced Thursday, will cut the company’s size to 220 workers by the end of the first quarter of this year. According to Pitchbook, Fate had 545 employees in 2022, up from 449 recorded in the company’s 2021 annual report. The firm is also dropping one of its experimental drugs, FT596, a cell-based cancer therapy that uses a class of immune cells known as natural killer cells. And the development of other therapies is being scaled back, too.


These cuts should give Fate enough money to operate until 2025; the company ended the year with $475 million in cash. But CEO Scott Wolchko acknowledged in a statement that the news is nonetheless disappointing.

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