Bionovo slashes bulk of staff, cuts costs as cash runs out

The biotech party seems to be coming to a close at Bionovo. The Emeryville, CA-based biotech says that without the money it needs to pay its bills, it is axing 90% of its remaining workforce, reducing compensation for the skeletal executive crew remaining on duty and considering the fate of an ongoing study for its lead drug.

The survivors will need to stay on short rations until the company can either raise fresh funds or sell the company, and it isn't making promises that it can do either. All strategic options are on the table.

"The company does not currently have adequate internal liquidity to meet its cash needs," the biotech said in a statement. "If sufficient additional funds are not received in the near term, the company may not be able to execute its business plan and may need to further curtail or cease operations."

Its shares ($BNVI) were trading at 7 cents this morning. Bionovo announced in January that it would delist voluntarily from Nasdaq. Its announcement of a strategic review came soon after.

Bionovo set out to develop new treatments for women's health, zeroing in on a drug for menopause. Its lead drug, Menerba, is in Phase III for hot flashes and the company lists three treatments in the pipeline.

- here's the press release