Transcept's development success spurs a 30% layoff

With the ink still drying on a new licensing pact and the FDA preparing to make a final decision on its insomnia drug, Transcept Pharmaceuticals says its development activities have been so successful it can now lay off about 30 percent of its employees.

Transcept went to some pains to underscore that the layoffs aren't the result of a liquidity crisis, a common sight these days at biotech companies around the globe. Transcept had $73.4 million of cash on hand at the end of June, which doesn't include the $25 million it got from Purdue Pharmaceuticals when it partnered up on the insomnia drug Intermezzo.

"Our overall staffing needs have been modified by the development of Intermezzo to the point of NDA submission and our recently announced agreement with Purdue Pharmaceuticals to commercialize Intermezzo in the United States," said CEO Glenn A. Oclassen. "Should Purdue elect to continue with our license and collaboration agreement after an FDA approval of Intermezzo, Purdue will be responsible for the effort and costs associated with the commercialization of the product in the United States....We are therefore phasing out certain positions that have been rendered non-essential by our development success to date and our agreement with Purdue. We believe that this important cost containment step is consistent with our long standing principle of conservative cash management."

- read the Transcept release
- read the story from Reuters