Advanced Life Sciences pares 30% of staff

Chicago-based Advanced Life Sciences has handed out pink slips to nearly a third of its staff as it concentrates its efforts on gaining an approval on a new antibiotic--cethromycin. The company burned through $12.2 million in its fourth quarter, leaving the developer with $1.5 million in cash. The company plans to raise new cash through equity sales as it waits for the FDA to respond to the NDA on cethromycin.

"2008 was a transformative year in Advanced Life Sciences' history, marking our transition from a development-stage to a pre-commercial company, working toward the market launch of our first product," said CEO Dr. Michael Flavin. "With the successful filing of our NDA for cethromycin, we have advanced our lead product candidate toward becoming a promising commercial product opportunity in a market that is in need of safe and effective new antibiotics. With the establishment of our Wyeth partnership in the Asia Pacific region, we have laid the cornerstone of our global commercialization strategy. In addition, the awarding of our multi- million dollar Defense Threat Reduction Agency contract is indicative of the potential for cethromycin and the significant market opportunity in the biodefense field."

Advanced Life Scienmces reported that it reduced its R&D expenses by $10 million last year. Its net loss was $2.8 million in the fourth quarter, half of its loss for the fourth quarter of 2007. The developer is looking to a PDUFA date of July 31.

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