As Lundbeck cuts staff and reshuffles R&D, one of its drug candidates has come out a winner.
Lundbeck has initiated a rejig of its pipeline, taking an ax to undisclosed early-stage assets in order to funnel cash into what it sees as its most promising candidates. The schizophrenia drug Lu AF35700 is among the beneficiaries of the reshuffle, with Lundbeck using its reorganized balance sheet to advance the therapy through development unpartnered.
Danish drugmaker Lundbeck is cutting about 1,000 jobs as new management looks to rein in spending, curtail R&D and focus on a handful of new drugs tabbed to drive growth.
Lundbeck is going on a cost-cutting binge. Amid falling sales--and a few months after a new CEO took the helm--the Danish drugmaker says it will cut loose 1,000 employees as part of a plan to save 3 billion kronor, or about $445 million, by 2017.
Lundbeck has long touted the cognitive benefits of its depression med, Brintellix, rolling out data that shows the drug improves patients' thinking, decision-making and attention better than its competition. Now the company could be gaining more of an edge for its med, as the FDA accepted a supplemental new drug application to add information about Brintellix's effect on cognitive problems to its label.
Otsuka is facing plenty of bleeding, now that its blockbuster antipsychotic Abilify has generic competition. But the company is working hard to soften the blow, and a brand-new FDA approval for a long-acting antipsychotic could help.
Otsuka and its partner Lundbeck snagged an FDA approval for Rexulti (brexpiprazole) to treat schizophrenia and as an add-on therapy for major depression, leaving the two companies prepping for an August launch into an increasingly crowded field.
Lundbeck's new CEO Kåre Schultz just wrapped up his first month on the job, and chances are he's brainstorming about how to jump-start the company's Brintellix launch. And as Forbes ' John LaMattina notes, the answer might lie with payers.
Last month, the European Parliament voted to push the European Commission to take a harder stance on curbing alcohol's harmful health effects. And Lundbeck, which markets alcoholism drug Selincro, did its part to make that happen.
Mystery solved: Novo Nordisk heir apparent Kåre Schultz didn't just up and leave the Danish drugmaker. He left for the top job at crosstown colleague Lundbeck, vacant since that CEO stepped down in disgrace in November.