Enzon axes 33 staffers as it tries to rein in costs

Enzon Pharmaceuticals is cutting a quarter of its workforce, laying off 33 staffers in a move designed to save more than $5 million a year. The company said it alerted the staff at the end of last week and plans to hand out the last severance payments in the second quarter of 2012.

A few weeks ago Bridgewater, NJ-based Enzon reported that it had racked up a third quarter loss of 14 cents a share, which was lower than the same period a year ago but still higher than some estimates on the Street. Enzon has seen royalty income from the sale of the hep C therapy PegIntron decline recently. The developer says it cut R&D and other expenses in the latest quarter, reducing total spending by 12.3 percent.

Late last year Enzon hived off its specialty pharma business--a package that includes a manufacturing plant in Indianapolis and four marketed products--for $300 million in cash and the promise of additional rewards in milestones and royalties to Italy's sigma-tau Group. The biotech said the deal left the company free to focus entirely on its pipeline work.

- see the report from Reuters
- read the Enzon release on the third quarter numbers