Licensing talks collapse at struggling ARYx, fresh cuts follow

Faced with the collapse of advanced licensing discussions for its antiarrythmia drug budiadarone, Fremont, CA-based ARYx Therapeutics is once again bringing out the budget axe. The developer says it will cut its work force to les than 20 after a reorganization last fall forced a cut from 73 to 56. And it's brought in Cowen and Company to explore strategic options.

The employees left on the payroll will be put to work on optimizing "the value of the late-stage assets of the company in the most efficient manner."

"When we reached the point that it became clear we will not be completing a partnership in the near term, we reviewed many strategic alternatives before deciding to retain the services of an investment bank," said Dr. Paul Goddard, chairman and chief executive officer of ARYx. "We have three products at proof of concept stage and amongst these three programs we have treated more than two thousand people with our drugs. For each of these products, we have made substantial progress in characterizing both their safety and efficacy, and we remain convinced that they have substantial value."

- here's the ARYx release
- and here's the Reuters report