Labopharm slashes staff, pushes strategic review

Just days after CEO James Howard-Tripp skipped from Canada's Labopharm, the biotech says it has pink slipped 38 workers--close to a third of its staff--as it pursues a top-to-bottom strategic review of its options.

The troubled Labopharm announced a week ago that it was undertaking a strategic review in the wake of Howard-Tripp's unexplained departure. The developer produces the antidepressant Oleptro, which includes tramadol. In the last fiscal year, the company lost $28.9 million. Following the restructuring the company will have 94 staffers.

"Although a difficult decision, today's action will provide the corporation with additional cost savings as the board of directors and senior management team continue a complete review of the business, including consideration of all available strategic options, as announced last week," said Mark D'Souza, who was promoted to the helm last week. Sylvain Guenette, corporate controller, has been named chief financial officer.

- here's the Labopharm press release