UPDATED: Crucell and Royal DSM pull the plug on biosimilar JV

A Cambridge, MA-based joint venture marrying the protein and antibody development technology of Crucell with the manufacturing knowhow of Royal DSM for developing biosimilars has collapsed. A spokesperson for Crucell tells FierceBiotech that the "biosimilars product development business of Percivia will be terminated" after the two partners couldn't agree on further investments in the company.

"The shareholders and management of Percivia LLC have decided to restructure the Company, effective 13 April 2012, and as part of that restructuring will focus the company to the existing PER.C6 technology licensing business," the company said in its statement. "Percivia LLC will continue as a legal entity with this purpose."

There's still no official word on the fate of the staff. Asked about reports of layoffs, the Crucell spokesperson only added that "as a result of this restructuring there will be some redundancies." But BioSpace reports that sources close to the company confirmed that 30 employees have been terminated while a skeleton crew remains for 30 to 90 days to close up the office and wind down operations.

Back in the fall of 2010, the two companies announced ambitious plan to jointly develop biobetters as well as seek out licensing deals on Crucell's PER.C6 technology. Jim Mullen, the former CEO of Biogen Idec ($BIIB), was named chairman of the venture and a year ago Amit Munshi, the co-founder of Kythera, was brought in as CEO.

- see the BioSpace update