Cancer drug maker CTI BioPharma lays off 50% of workforce

CTI BioPharma announced Thursday that it will let go of half its employees in order to create more runway to develop its experimental drug Pacritinib, which treats the blood cancer myelofibrosis. The Seattle-based firm said it expected to save $20 million over three years as a result of the layoffs. CTI did not specify the number of people who would be affected, but the company reported 57 employees at the end of 2017. Shares of the company fell more than 8 percent on Thursday following the announcement. The company’s stock has lost more than 70 percent of its value in the past six months, following a series of disappointments last… Read More

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OceanGate CEO pilots submersible to 4,000-meter depth — next stop is dive on Titanic site in 2019

OceanGate’s manned submersible Titan. (OceanGate Photo) OceanGate, the Everett, Wash.-based maker of manned submersible vessels, reached a new milestone this week by reaching a significant depth during a dive in the Bahamas. CEO Stockton Rush became just the second person in history to complete a solo dive to 4,000 meters when he piloted the privately owned company’s vessel Titan. The depth is noteworthy because it is at this distance below the surface that the wreck of the famed ocean liner Titanic lies on floor of the North Atlantic. Titan, which will hold five people, will be used in OceanGate’s “Titanic Survey Expedition” in 2019. “This deep dive is a major… Read More

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Chef co-founder Adam Jacob launches new effort to define “sustainable” open-source software

Chef co-founder and CTO Adam Jacob speaks at ChefConf 2018. (GeekWire screenshot) As questions continue to swirl around the future of open-source software licensing and business models, Chef co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Adam Jacob wants to figure out a way to keep the best parts of open source while ensuring those principles have a financial future. Jacob launched the Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities project Thursday, the last day of the KubeCon open-source conference in Chef’s hometown of Seattle. The project is really a forum for discussion about how software developers can stay true to the community-oriented aspects of open-source software development without resorting to restrictive licenses that… Read More

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‘Spam’ bomb threats at schools and businesses nationwide demand Bitcoin ransom payments

(BigStock Image / Inked Pixels) A series of what appear to be unfounded bomb threats were made via email to organizations and individuals across the nation Thursday, grinding businesses to a halt and forcing the evacuation of numerous buildings containing thousands of people. Thursday morning, emails went out to schools and businesses across the country demanding ransom payments in bitcoin. The University of Washington issued an alert, saying the emails were likely spam sent to numerous organizations around the country, but UW Police are sweeping buildings across campus. UWPD is aware of and investigating threatening emails sent to individuals on campus. Police are conducting sweeps of campus buildings. The email… Read More

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‘Thursday Night Football’ to feature co-stream by hugely popular gamer ‘Ninja’ on Amazon’s Twitch

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins has more than 12 million followers on Twitch. (Photo courtesy of Ninja) The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers will show off their brand of “multiplayer entertainment” in a “Thursday Night Football” clash tonight. And one of the most popular gamers in the world will get in on the action by co-streaming the event on Twitch, the platform owned by Amazon. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who has more than 12 million followers on Twitch, will join in the fun for the last “TNF” game of the season. Other Twitch personalities such as Jericho, TimTheTatman, and GoldGlove will also co-stream to their followers. Co-streaming is just another feature… Read More

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Seattle biotech startup raises $3.7M to help the body regenerate tissue

Thong Le, CEO of Rodeo Therapeutics and Accelerator Life Science Partners. (Photo courtesy of Accelerator) Rodeo Therapeutics, a Seattle-based biotech startup that is creating therapies to help the body regenerate tissue, has landed $3.7 million in venture funding, according to an SEC filing. The company is working on ways to speed up the body’s natural regenerative process by inhibiting an enzyme called 15-PGDH. Rodeo’s efforts are aimed at treating inflammatory bowel disease and promoting blood cell growth following bone marrow transplants. Regenerative medicine essentially aims to repair tissue that has broken down due to disease, age or birth defects. Rodeo hopes that, down the line, it can provide regenerative therapies… Read More

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Apple to top 1,000 employees in Seattle, add new site in city as part of broader national expansion

Photo Illustration by Monica Nickelsburg, GeekWire, original photo by Dan Hershman, via Flickr. Apple will expand its Seattle operations to more than 1,000 employees and establish a new site in the city, moving further into the backyards of hometown tech titans Microsoft and Amazon, and escalating the competition for technology talent in the region. The company announced the plan for Seattle as part of a broader national expansion unveiled this morning. Austin landed Apple’s big prize, a new $1 billion, 133-acre campus with capacity for up to 15,000 employees. However, Seattle is among three other U.S. cities where the tech giant says it will significantly expand its operations over the… Read More

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Virgin Galactic sends up its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane to take aim at space

SpaceShipTwo rocket plane takes off from the Mojave Desert. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle) MOJAVE, Calif. — Virgin Galactic has sent up its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, dubbed VSS Unity, to become the first privately funded vehicle in 14 years to carry people to the edge of space. Or not. There are a few question marks surrounding today’s test flight, which took off from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port this morning and is currently climbing to a launch altitude in the neighborhood of 45,000 feet. Unity was slung beneath its twin-fuselage White Knight Two mothership for takeoff, and Virgin Galactic’s crews will weigh each step along the way to the… Read More

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Interview: Gates Foundation CEO on global progress in 2018, and the biggest threat to the world’s future

Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann at the GeekWire Summit earlier this year. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong) As the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sue Desmond-Hellman oversees the world’s largest philanthropy, on a mission to transform U.S. education and global health. But when asked to identify the biggest threat to the future of the world, she doesn’t point to a disease or a dictator. “One of the biggest threats in my mind is a sense of despair and pessimism,” Desmond-Hellmann said in an interview with GeekWire. “The biggest threat to the future is, it’s youth who feel like they don’t have the opportunity to have a better… Read More

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Need a Lime bike? Google Maps now shows availability in Seattle and 12 other cities

Lime bikes in Seattle. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser) That cluster of Lime bikes on a corner is getting a lot more visible — even if some of them aren’t upright. Thursday, Google announced it would display nearby Lime pedal bikes, e-bikes and scooters from inside Google Maps. Not only that, but if there’s a Lime vehicle available to help get you to your destination, Maps will show walking time to get to it, a ride cost estimate, total journey time and an estimated time of arrival to your destination. The option for Lime vehicles appears from the Maps app’s transit icon. The transit tab shows Lime vehicles nearby in… Read More

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