Sweden's BioInvent International has been forced to restructure following the failure of an investigational antithrombotic in a mid-stage trial earlier this month.
The company will now have 68 full-time employees compared with the current 89 and the reduction in workforce "and other reprioritisations" will result in cost savings of around 15 million Swedish kroner. Negotiations have begun with trade unions.
The move is deemed necessary following the decision by BioInvent and partner ThromboGenics to halt development of TB-402, a long-acting anticoagulant. A Phase IIb trial comparing the drug with Bayer/Johnson & Johnson's Xarelto (rivaroxaban) showed that the incidence of venous thromboembolism was similar with both treatments, but patients receiving TB-402 had a significantly higher incidence of bleeding events.
Also earlier this month, Roche returned the rights for TB-403 to BioInvent and ThromboGenics in certain cancer and non-cancer indications, including ophthalmology, following a portfolio review.
BioInvent chief executive Svein Mathisen said that "we regret the fact that the changes in our organisation will impact a number of our employees, but consider it necessary to take better advantage of the opportunities provided by positive study data later this year". The company is now focusing on BI_204 for the treatment of acute coronary artery disease and new and existing cancer projects such as BI_505.
Mr Mathiesen added that "we will also strengthen the company as a trustworthy partner for companies using our technology to develop proprietary antibody drugs". BioInvent enjoys "important revenues from these collaborations today - revenues which are expected to increase as our partners bring the product candidates forward".