Santhera Aligns Resources and Plans to Restructure Drug Discovery
Liestal, Switzerland, July 6, 2009 - Santhera Pharmaceuticals (SIX: SANN), a Swiss specialty pharmaceutical company focused on orphan neuromuscular diseases, announced today that it plans to focus the organization on preclinical and clinical development as well as commercialization of small molecules in rare neuromuscular disorders and related attractive niche indications. As a consequence, the Company intends to reduce headcount primarily in drug discovery.
Santhera's strategic focus remains to identify, develop and market products in its area of expertise. The Company's commercial operation in North America will continue to market Catena® in Canada and the marketing organization in the US will be strengthened when positive Friedreich's Ataxia Phase III study (MICONOS) results become available. Santhera's proven development expertise will focus on Catena®, JP-1730/fipamezole and other attractive clinical development programs. The Company's preclinical activities will be concentrated on reprofiling existing molecules and supporting clinical development programs as well as the evaluation of in-licensing opportunities. In-vitro and in-vivo biology know-how will therefore be retained as well as all expertise required for the partnering of the assets related to Santhera's advanced MC4 receptor antagonist program. In-house drug discovery, however, will be discontinued. As a consequence, the Company intends to reduce its current workforce of 82 employees by 26, predominantly from drug discovery. The consultation process with the Swiss employees has been initiated.
"The planned restructuring is a very difficult decision for us. It became necessary due to the current delay of our most advanced program combined with a difficult financial environment", said Klaus Schollmeier, Chief Executive Officer of Santhera. "The measure will assure that we keep enough financial flexibility until Catena® is approved in the US and Europe and for other future growth opportunities."
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Santhera Pharmaceuticals (SIX: SANN) is a Swiss specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of small-molecule pharmaceutical products for the treatment of severe neuromuscular diseases, an area of high unmet medical need which includes many orphan indications with no current therapy. Santhera's first product, Catena® to treat Friedreich's Ataxia, is marketed in Canada. Data of a second pivotal Phase III study are expected for the first half of 2010. The drug has also shown efficacy in a clinical trial as a potential treatment for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Recently reported results from a clinical trial demonstrate efficacy of JP-1730/fipamezole in reducing levodopa-induced Dyskinesia in Parkinson's Disease. The development portfolio consitsts of additional clinical programs, and will be grown further through in-licensing and reprofiling of existing compounds, driven by Santhera's in-house expertise in pharmacology. For further information, please visit the Company's web site www.santhera.com.
Catena® is a trademark of Santhera Pharmaceuticals.
For further information, contact
Klaus Schollmeier, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: +41 (0)61 906 89 52
Barbara Heller, Chief Financial Officer
Phone: +41 (0)61 906 89 54
Thomas Staffelbach, Head Public & Investor Relations
Phone: +41 (0)61 906 89 47
This communication does not constitute an offer or invitation to subscribe for or purchase any securities of Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding AG. This publication may contain certain forward-looking statements concerning the Company and its business. Such statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and other factors which could cause the actual results, financial condition, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such statements. Readers should therefore not place undue reliance on these statements, particularly not in connection with any contract or investment decision. The Company disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.