Savient Pharma to cut 38% of staff

Savient Pharmaceuticals (SVNT) today announced plans to reduce costs by slashing its headcount by 38 percent--or 26 jobs--as it prepares to resubmit its BLA for investigational gout drug Krystexxa. After a $1.3 million charge this year, the company expects to save $4.6 million next year.

According to its SEC filing, the developer began notifying employees on Wednesday and expects the terminations to be complete by next Wednesday. The layoffs will largely impact the commercial, medical, financial and operational departments, Savient told regulators.

The drugmaker's shares continue to rise and fall with each bit of news. Yesterday Savient's shares dropped 4.7 percent, but today the company's shares rose 5.1 percent to $15.55 in afternoon trading. Investor's are clearly doubtful, but Oppenheimer and Co. analyst tells Forbes that "it is increasingly likely" Savient will be able to launch Krystexxa late next year. Though the drug is also likely to carry a "black box" warning, analyst John Newman said.

- more from Reuters
- here's the filing
- the Forbes story