BioSante axes 25% of workforce after big miss in female libido gel trials

BioSante Pharmaceuticals ($BPAX) alerted investors this morning to its plan to move forward after the colossal failure of its late-stage trials for its female libido gel last month. To save cash, the company said it's cutting 21 full-time employees or contractors, about a quarter of its total workforce, and is hunting for in-licensing, merger and acquisition deals.

The Lincolnshire, IL-based drug developer has seen about three quarters of its stock value wiped away after a pair of Phase III studies failed to show that its experimental LibiGel product could beat placebo in treating female sexual dysfunction, for which there are no FDA-approved treatments. The company plans to meet with the FDA to discuss the program and decide within the next three months whether to continue a safety study for LibiGel.

The company's market share stood at a lowly $71.5 million and its stock at 65 cents per share this morning, according to Google Finance.

With the blockbuster hopes for LibiGel all but dashed, BioSante faces questions about what other pipeline contenders can renew faith in the company. Its experimental testosterone gel, licensed to Teva Pharmaceuticals ($TEVA), is under FDA review and the agency is expected to decide whether to approved the treatment by Feb. 14. BioSante also has been studying cancer vaccines in early- and midstage studies for a variety of tumors.

BioSante CEO Stephen Simes has put on a brave face after the LibiGel setback. "Although we are disappointed about the recently reported LibiGel clinical efficacy results, " he said in a statement today. "We are optimistic about the future of BioSante."

Investors don't seem so confident, but we'll see how well Simes can navigate the headwinds that his BioSante faces and renew faith in the company.

- here's the release