The move to North Carolina comes nearly two months after Tengion announced a corporate restructuring that included scaling back its Pennsylvania footprint and focusing its resources on the R&D facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The headquarters move is part of that restructuring plan, which so far has resulted in a reduction of the company’s rented space in East Norriton, Pennsylvania and layoffs for about 30 workers — more than half of Tengion’s staff. Tengion said in November that savings from the restructuring would give the company enough cash to carry it through 2012. That buys the company time to find a strategic partner to help finance further clinical development of its tissue regeneration technology.
Tengion is currently in phase 1 clinical trials for its Neo-Urinary Conduit, which is being studied in bladder cancer patients who have had their bladders removed. In the trial, Tengion’s technology is used to fashion a new conduit to carry urine from the body. The trial will test up to 10 patients. Three have enrolled so far and the company projects it will have all 10 enrolled by the end of this year. Tengion also has a preclinical kidney program and the company expects to make a pre-investigational drug filing for that program in the first half of this year.
Tengion has had a presence in Winston-Salem, North Carolina since the company was spun out of Wake Forest University in 2004. The company’s tissue regeneration technology was originally developed at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Tengion said it would maintain its Pennsylvania site while it looks for ways to reduce its rental obligations for the facility.