Theratechnologies once again tries to slash its way to breakeven point

Ten months ago, Montreal-based Theratechnologies ($THER) cut its staff, shelved a mid-stage development program and slashed costs, vowing to get on track to profitability in 2013. And that was the second round of layoffs it engineered in 2011. Today, the biotech went back to the drawing board with yet another round of layoffs and more research cuts as the biotech company lowered its sights to a breakeven position.

In this latest downsizing, Theratechnologies plans to eliminate some 15 R&D positions, suspending most of its in-house research while eliminating the management bonus plan and foregoing any raises for another year. The biotech--which lost CEO John-Michel T. Huss about two weeks ago--says it will complete preclinical work on a next-gen growth hormone releasing peptide.

"Our plan is to become cash neutral rapidly by focusing almost all of our efforts and resources on maximizing revenues from tesamorelin in the near term, while continuing to keep a cap on expenses. By strengthening our base now, we can better assure our success in the future and assess opportunities," said new CEO Luc Tanguay.

Theratechnologies' stock was trading at 37 cents at the market close on Friday.

Tesamorelin was approved by the FDA back in 2010 to treat the buildup of abdominal fat in HIV patients. But sales of the drug, dubbed Egrifta, haven't resolved the company's financial woes. For the first nine months of this year Theratechnologies reported $3.8 million in sales, which was actually down from the same period a year ago as EMD Serono handled the drug launch. R&D costs hit about $4.5 million, half of what it was the prior year.

- here's the press release

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