Neurosearch decimates staff as it circles wagons on Huntington's drug

Hunkering down to get its experimental treatment for Huntington's disease through Phase III, Denmark's troubled NeuroSearch has outlined plans to slash its workforce from 200 to some 35 employees over the next two years as it aims to reduce its overall budget to only a quarter of its current amount.

"In the long run, our vision is to create a specialty pharmaceutical company building on the platform that Huntexil will give us," said CEO Patrik Dahlen. "Unfortunately, this means that we will have to part with many competent employees who are working on other projects."

Those other projects include four CNS programs in early-stage or preclinical development. Those programs will now be shelved.

NeuroSearch ($NEUR) began signaling some serious issues back in January, when it announced its first sizeable layoff. A couple of months later its troubles increased when the FDA made it clear that the biotech would need to provide considerably more data on Huntexil before it could evaluate an NDA. That news sent its stock price into a nosedive.

Laying off the bulk of its workforce will reduce overall expenses from DKK 200 million to DKK 50 million, says the biotech. And from now, the remaining employees will be focused almost exclusively on Huntexil, which will be evaluated in a Phase III trial involving some 630 patients.

- here's the NeuroSearch release