TorreyPines plans layoffs in streamlining

TorreyPines Therapeutics is taking a lashing from some of the analysts for its decision to cut staff as it restructures the company and focuses on its lead development programs. Those programs include tezampanel, NGX426 and the muscarinic agonist NGX267. Researchers plan to launch a Phase II trial of tezampanel in muscle spasticity and rigidity secondary to spinal cord trauma in the second half of the year; complete the ongoing Phase I maximum tolerated dose trial of NGX426, the oral prodrug of tezampanel, in the first half of the year; initiate a Phase I multiple dose trial of NGX426 in the second half of the year, and initiate a Phase II trial of NGX267 in xerostomia, or dry mouth, secondary to Sjogren's syndrome in the first half of the year. 

At the end of this month, TorreyPines announced that with the conclusion of the discovery-phase GSM collaboration with Eisai, it will streamline operations by handing out pink slips. Out the door goes Chief Medical Officer Michael Murphy.

"Our 2008 strategic plan builds on the clinical successes of our lead compounds and our on-going genetics collaboration with Eisai while enabling us to be opportunistic and fiscally prudent," said CEO Dr. Neil Kurtz. "Our goal is to exploit the versatility of our product candidates by moving them forward strategically through at least proof-of-concept, while being aggressive in our pursuit of corporate partnerships."

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