Tanabe cuts jobs as it focuses on biologics

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma announced today that the company is closing Tanabe Research Labs U.S.A., the La Jolla-based labs it's occupied since the early 1990s. In the process, it's also cutting 35 employees, company attorney David Snyder tells Sign On San Diego. He adds that the lab's programs--which were focused on small-molecule drugs for metabolic and inflammatory conditions--became redundant after Tanabe Seiyaku and Mitsubishi Pharma merged in 2007.

The closing is part of Tanabe's plan to pour its efforts into biologic drugs for cancer and other diseases. Ongoing programs at the labs will be halted this quarter as Tanabe looks for new leadership for the biotech institute. "We believe there is a great deal of relevant scientific know-how available in the San Diego region and many opportunities to collaborate with others pursuing successes in similar areas of research," said Tanabe board member Takeshi Matsumoto in a statement to Sign On San Diego. The company hopes to have it's new biotech unit up and running by the end of 2010.

- here's the Sign On San Diego report