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Published on : Oct 28, 2015

Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced to lay off 35% of its overall workforce in the U.S. as a cost-cutting measure. The number reach around 80 employees. Apart from this, the company is also planning to cancel some of the trials pertaining to weight loss drugs in order to focus on other pipeline drugs.

Arena, a San Diego-based pharma company, has stated that it expects to gain a restructuring charges of around US$3.3 mn associated with the layoffs in the U.S. in the Q4 of this year. The layoffs are projected to save around US$11 mn per annum to the company, it added. Moreover, the company plans to apply cost-cutting measures in its Switzerland unit.

The firm has announced that it is suspending several ‘lifecycle management programs’ associated with its main drug, Belviq, which is an anti-obesity treatment at present. Of late, the sales of this drug have not been showing desired results.  The drug was approved by the U.S. FDA in 2012.

The pharma company has also decided not to pursue a program that includes testing of Belviq as a treatment that can help smokers to quit smoking. The reason given by the firm is that it fears the market-specific challenges would restrict the potential RoI, which is required to run a development program. Japan-based Eisai Co. Ltd. sells Belviq in most of the nations where it has gained approval.

In the announcement, the company also stated that it would now focus on experimental drugs such as ralinepag, which is a treatment drug for pulmonary arterial hypertension and APD334, which is a treatment drug for ulcerative colitis. Both the drugs are in their mid-stage studies