Faced with a recent FDA demand for a new trial of its lung drug pirfenidone, InterMune has brought out the budget axe. The Brisbane, CA-based developer (ITMN) says it is cutting 40 percent of its workforce, or 60 people.
It's a far cry from InterMune's preliminary plans to double or perhaps even triple its workforce if it won an approval. Now InterMune is projecting that the cuts can save the developer $12 million a year after taking a special charge of $2.4 million in the second quarter.
InterMune hit the primary endpoint in only one of two late-stage trials. But with no approved therapies available for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis--a lethal disease characterized by inflammation and scarring of the lungs--and a positive recommendation from an influential panel of agency experts, the news still came as a surprise to many of the analysts who had projected blockbuster sales figures.
On the day of the rejection, InterMune's shares plunged more than 80 percent.
- here's the story from Bloomberg