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ImmunityBio Unsettling remarks in SEC filings

More than $308 million. That’s the amount of losses this year through September by ImmunityBio, which planned to move operations to Dunkirk in early 2022.

After some 40 layoffs in October at the city location, the picture has become less rosy in the company’s third-quarter reports that were made public earlier this month. Reading between the lines, in the filing, it appears the company that had high hopes for Dunkirk is now preparing for the worst.

“Consequently, during the third quarter of 2022, we determined to conduct a reduction-in-force of a significant portion of the then-current employees at the Dunkirk Facility effective in late December 2022,” company officials said in the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. “The construction period and reduction-in-force may adversely affect our ability to satisfy certain operational obligations described above. In addition, while we believe we are in compliance with all applicable laws and agreements implicated by the reduction-in-force, we could become subject to litigation in connection with these measures. Failure to satisfy the obligations over the lease term, including the milestones we have committed to achieve, may give rise to certain rights and remedies of the lessor and other governmental authorities including, for example, termination of the lease agreement and other related agreements and potential recoupment of a percentage of the grant funding received by the seller for construction of the Dunkirk facility and other benefits received, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable agreements. If we lose access to the Dunkirk facility and related leased equipment, it could disrupt our operations and manufacturing activities, cause us to divert resources to finding alternative facilities, which would not have any subsidies, and could have a significant impact on our operations and financial performance.”

This statement is alarming to say the least. When Athenex was announced in February 2016, there were plenty of skeptics.

Once the massive structure was built, the crescendo grew greater. ImmunityBio is doing nothing — and may not have the capital — to silence the doubters.

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