Tengion to cut back in Phila. region as focus moves to N.C.

Tengion Inc., one of the most innovative life-sciences companies to call the Philadelphia region home, is in full restructuring mode.

When it is done, the company will have far more presence in North Carolina than in Montgomery County where its corporate headquarters has been located since its founding.

Tengion said it will cut 30 employees, or about 58 percent of its workforce. All research and development functions will be moved to its Winston-Salem, N.C. location.

As for its East Norriton headquarters, Tengion said it will "retain a limited number of administrative employees" there as it considers option for cutting the amount of space it rents there.

Tengion is a biotechnology firm that has been trying to commercialize a process to regenerate organs. As part of its restructuring, the company said it will focus on Phase 1 clinical trials for its Neo-Urinary Conduit" product.

All of the moves are aimed at providing enough cash for Tengion to continue operating through November 2012, the company said.

In late June, Tengion CEO Steven A. Nichtberger resigned and he was replaced by the company's chairman, David I. Scheer. Earlier this year, Medtronic invested $31.4 million in Tengion. UPDATE: Earlier this year, Medtronic provided about $7 million in a private placement that raised about $30 million for Tengion.

Founded in 2003, Tengion went public at $5 per share in April 2010. As of the early afternoon, shares were trading at 53 cents, up 3 cents per share, or 5 percent.