Theratechnologies reduces R&D head count to compensate for sales setback

Theratechnologies’ R&D staff is bearing the brunt of its commercial failings. With sales falling short of expectations, the biotech is reducing its R&D head count and narrowing its focus to lower outgoings. 

The company sells a treatment for HIV infection, Trogarzo, and a treatment for the fat that can accumulate in people infected with the virus, Egrifta. Sales of the two products slumped 9% in the second quarter as Theratechnologies contended with the impact of the inventories that specialty pharmacies built up last year in anticipation of higher demand. 

The biotech lowered the midpoint of its full-year sales guidance by almost 9% in response to the weak quarter. And with money flowing in at a slower rate than expected, Theratechnologies has decided it needs to reduce the pace at which cash leaves the company, too.  

“We are implementing further cost saving measures to ensure no setback in our profitability journey,” CEO Paul Lévesque said in a statement. “In addition to program reductions already embedded into [the] 2024 plan, an additional $5.5 million in annualized cost savings will be implemented through a rightsizing of the R&D functions in the company.”

Fierce Biotech has contacted the company for more information on exactly how many positions will be affected by the reorganization of R&D. Theratechnologies employed 144 people as of the end of November 2022, most of whom worked in its home country of Canada.

Pursuing annual savings of $5.5 million, the biotech is pairing the layoffs with a “decrease in the number and scope of research and development projects.” Theratechnologies made no mention of the programs affected by the reorganization but did provide an update on sudocetaxel zendusortide, a cancer prospect that will resume a phase 1 trial after the FDA recently released it from a clinical hold.