Cash shortage puts Advanced Life Sciences on ice

Entries into the 2011 biotech graveyard have been few and far between, but we have a fourth name to add to the list today on the news that Illinois-based Advanced Life Sciences has suspended operations and terminated its staff due to a lack of funding. "We presently do not have sufficient cash to fund our operations and have curtailed substantially all activities," said CEO Michael Flavin in a a statement.

ALS cut 30 percent of its staff in 2009 as it awaited an FDA decision on its antibiotic Restanza (cethromycin) for community-acquired pneumonia. The drug was also in development for the treatment for anthrax, plague and tularemia. An expert panel ruled that cethromycin was safe but not effective, and the FDA eventually issued a complete response letter asking ALS for additional data before it could approve the drug. No studies of cethromycin are currently ongoing.

The board of ALS says its "considering all strategic alternatives," and that bankruptcy is a "distinct possibility" going forward.

- here's ALS's release

Special Report: The 2010 Biotech Graveyard