Switzerland’s Arpida is cutting up to 60 jobs, most of its workforce, a week after a regulatory panel in the USA voted overwhelmingly against recommending approval of Arpida's intravenous antibiotic iclaprim.

Last week the FDA’s Anti-infective Drugs Advisory Committee voted 17 to 2 against the approval of iclaprim, which had been filed for the treatment of patients with complicated skin infections (cSSSIs), including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In the context of the negative recommendation, Arpida’s board says it intends to “put the company back on a firm footing through cutting costs considerably”.

To achieve this, Arpida added that it “views the reduction of the workforce by up to 60 employees as inevitable” and “a consultation process with all employees has been initiated”, details of which will be communicated on December 16.

Chief executive Juergen Raths said that “we were very surprised by this very clear negative ruling by the FDA advisory board" which “was totally unexpected because we are still convinced that iclaprim offers a valuable therapeutic asset”. He added that “we will use the FDA’s feedback as well as further clinical advice and expertise in our development decisions”.

Arpida concluded that it will “thoroughly analyse the situation with external experts to determine the future development of iclaprim”. However investors seem to have decided that the future looks grim and although news of the restructuring has pushed the company’s share price up, the stock had hit the floor after the FDA panel’s recommendation.