Two Biopharma Firms Cut Back On Staff | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: June 2, 2008

Two Biopharma Firms Cut Back On Staff

Pharmacopeia to focus on late-stage discovery; Favrille collapses on Phase III failure
Department: Business

Pharmacopeia, a small-molecule drug discovery and development firm, will reduce its workforce by approximately 15%, to 150 employees. The job cuts, combined with decreased expenses in other areas, are expected to reduce annual operating expenditures by at least $10 million in 2009.

The move is part of a company effort to shift its focus from early-stage discovery to drug development. Pharmacopeia's lead programs include a drug for hypertension currently in Phase II clinical trials and a selective androgen receptor modulator for the treatment of muscle wasting expected to move into Phase II trials next year.

"Discovery research remains a core strength of Pharmacopeia, and we will be increasingly focused on the discovery and advancement of clinical candidates that we can independently develop into valuable assets that directly benefit our shareholders," says Joseph A. Mollica, chairman and interim chief executive officer.

Meanwhile, Favrille, a biopharmaceutical firm focused on cancer and immune system therapies, will lay off 132 of its 144 employees, including six of its eight executive officers. The announcement follows disclosure that the firm's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma therapy, Specifid, failed in Phase III trials.

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