Active Biotech, a biotechnology company based in Sweden, plans to reduce 47 positions and engage in significant down-sizing of operations due to recent negative trial results.
In April, the results from the phase III trial 10TASQ10 in castration-resistant prostate cancer patients were presented. The results showed that the primary endpoint of delaying disease progression was met. However, tasquinimod did not extend overall survival. These results lead to the discontinuation of the development of tasquinimod and the collaboration agreement with Ipsen. The scientific activities in the preclinical project ISI also will be discontinued and only commercial activities will be performed as of 2016.
Since the majority of Active Biotech employees have been engaged in these projects, the company now has 47 employee redundancies. A notification of planned redundancies has been submitted to the local authorities (Arbetsförmedlingen) for 47 employees out of 56. Active Biotech also has called for negotiations with the trade unions and contacts have been established with organizations such as the Swedish Employment Security Council regarding various support measures for the employees. The planned organizational change is estimated to be fully implemented as of Jan. 1, 2016.
The clinical project laquinimod will be continued according to plan together with the collaboration partner Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. The next important milestone for the laquinimod project is the results from the ongoing phase III study CONCERTO, with the primary endpoint of delaying disability progression in patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The ANYARA and paquinimod projects remain for out-licensing and RhuDex is developed and fully financed by the partner MediGene.
Active Biotech's planned organizational adjustment leads to substantially reduced operating costs. The operating costs are expected to decrease to approximately $60 million per year, from 2016.