Theratechnologies cuts staffers amid R&D makeover

In these wicked times for drug developers, R&D jobs at biotechs aren't necessarily safe after companies get FDA approvals. Montreal-based Theratechnologies is proof, saying yesterday it's cutting 24 jobs as part of an R&D overhaul that comes less than a year after the FDA approved its drug EGRFITA for reducing abdominal fat in certain HIV-positive patients.

"As stated at our last annual meeting of shareholders, the launch of EGRIFTA in the United States is a success by any standard. As Theratechnologies enters into the next phase of its evolution, it is our ability to adapt that will determine our future success. I hope that our new R&D business model--based on innovation, openness and flexibility--will become the industry standard," John-Michel Huss, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Theratechnologies' CEO appears to be following a path already taken by other biopharma chiefs, relying more heavily on partners that aren't on the company's payroll to advance R&D projects than in the past. This could be smart business as some drug companies try to keep their R&D engines humming on smaller budgets.

"The future of R&D undoubtedly lies in the public and private sector's ability to work in close collaboration," Huss said. "While relying on Theratechnologies' established partnership experience, we will systematically call upon partners in the public and private arena to help us bring our R&D projects forward."

- here's the company's release