Germany’s Evotec is closing down US subsidiary Renovis, just a year after it acquired the South San Francisco-based firm in a stock deal worth $151.8 million.

The move is part of the Hamburg-based company’s action plan which involves “re-engineering its drug discovery and development operations to improve efficiency and realise further cost saving potential”. Operations at Renovis “will be wound down with immediate effect”, Evotec says, a move which will result in the loss of 45 jobs.

The firm says that the decision will result in a minimum of 10 million euros in annual cost savings from 2010 onwards. Evotec added that with the closure of Renovis, all its proprietary drug development programmes will now be managed through its European operations.

Werner Lanthaler, Evotec’s chief executive, said the firm has identified “strong synergistic potential in the concentration of our operations into one seamless process”. Through this re-engineering, he added, “we will be able to most efficiently advance our proprietary core projects and deliver world-class drug discovery and development support to our partners”. It also will bring “significant cost savings necessary for optimal shareholder value creation”.

The closure of Renovis comes less than a couple of months after Evotec announced 50 job cuts and the firm’s workforce is now less than 330-strong. The firm’s problems stem in part from an inability to find a partner for its insomnia drug candidate EVT 201.

Last month, Evotec noted that EVT 302, an investigational compound for smoking cessation, reported disappointing Phase II trial results, which failed to demonstrate that the treatment enhanced the quit-rate of smokers, compared with placebo or when combined with a nicotine replacement patch.