It looks like the end of the road for La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co which has called a special meeting of stockholders to vote on a plan to liquidate and dissolve the US company.

La Jolla’s problems came to a head in February when the company abandoned development of Riquent (abetimus sodium), its Phase III drug for lupus. That decision was based on an interim analysis by the trial’s monitoring board which “determined that continuing the study is futile”. BioMarin Pharmaceutical had agreed to co-develop the drug only a month earlier and had already made a $15 million upfront payment.

However La Jolla says it has now “written down the value of the Riquent programme and related assets to zero” and expects the patents on the drug to lapse. The company adds that it expects to dissolve shortly after the stockholders' meeting on October 30 and then commence a liquidation process.

La Jolla, which has no ongoing research programmes, claimed that it expects to satisfy remaining debt obligations and distribute between $0.028 and $0.045 per share to holders of about 66 million shares of common stock. As of August 31, it had cash, net of liabilities and obligations, of $4.4 million.