Argos Therapeutics (Nasdaq: ARGS), which is the midst of a crucial Phase 3 clinical trial, says it is cutting 13 percent of its work force to help cut costs. The company also says its chief operating officer is stepping down.

Shares in Argos tumbled 14 percent, or $1.75, to $10.69 on Tuesday.

The stock had just hit a 52-week high of $12.44 on Monday.

The cuts represent 18 employees, reducing the head count to 117, Argos said in a securities filing.

In 2014, Argos committed to building a 100,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Durham. It also pledged to create some 230 jobs in order to receive some $9.5 million in tax incentives.

The layoffs are expected to cost the firm $400,000 but will reduce costs by $2.3 million on an annual basis, Argos said in the filing.

Last July, Argos reported that it had completed enrollement for a clinical trial of its immunotherapy that targets cancer.

AGS-003 is a dendritic-cell based immunotherapy designed to give a patient’s immune T-cells a response targeted to his unique tumor antigens. A small sample from a patient’s own tumor is used.

The Argos therapy is targeted to treat metastaic renal cell carcinoma.

In the filing, Argos said it “does not expect the workforce action plan to have any impact on the expected timeline for its Phase 3 ADAPT trial.”

Argos CEO Jeff Abbey told The Triangle Business Journal: “It’s never an easy decision to have to let people go,” he said in an interview Tuesday evening. “We needed to become a bit more efficient and cost effective.”

Stepping down as COO but remaining a consultant with the company is Fred Miesowicz who “notified the Company of his intention to resign from that position effective as of April 22, 2016,” Argos reported. “The Company expects to enter into a consulting arrangement with Dr. Miesowicz that will continue through mid-2017, when Dr. Miesowicz expects to retire. However, the terms of his engagement have not been finalized.”