Following FDA rejection, NicOx cuts 30 jobs

France's NicOx said today that it plans to cut about 30 jobs which is expected to lead to a significant reduction in cash burn for 2011. The move comes several months after the FDA rejected the company's osteoarthritis pain drug naproxcinod. An expert panel had voted 16 to 1 against the drug, saying NicOx didn't provide evidence that its painkiller did not raise blood pressure. FDA agency recommended that NicOx conduct one or more long-term studies of the painkiller to check for cardiovascular and gastrointestinal side effects. NicOx still hopes to gain marketing authorization for naproxcinod in Europe.

Half of the jobs at NicOx's headquarters will be eliminated. The company is closing its Warren, NJ offices and may restructure its operations in Italy. The company, which had $163 million on hand at the end of September, said it's searching for merger and acquisition opportunities and new alliances to advance its drug pipeline. "The restructuring and strategic reorientation are an acknowledgement of failure," Portzamparc analyst Arnaud Guerin told Reuters. "The pipeline is thin so the company is looking for solutions in partnerships or M&A."

- here's NicOx's release
- get more from Reuters