Vancouver-based Cardiome Pharma, a research-based biopharmaceutical company, is undertaking a significant work force reduction in response to the recently announced termination of Merck's development efforts relating to the vernakalant oral program.
The workforce reduction eliminates all positions focused on internal research activities along with certain supporting functions. The reduction in personnel will decrease the total number of employees by approximately 85%. The company expects to incur up to $5 million in severance and other charges related to this restructuring over the remainder of the year.
"We very much regret that this decision of the board will affect the individuals that have contributed over the past years to Cardiome," said Dr. William Hunter, interim CEO. "I want to express my appreciation to everyone for their hard work, passion and commitment. We believe this action was necessary to maximize shareholder value by effective management of Cardiome's cash resources and continued focus on our ongoing partnership with Merck on Brinavess IV."
Cariome spreviously announced that one of Hunter's first tasks as interim CEO would be to review all current activities of the company with the immediate objective of optimizing the spend rate. By mid-August, shareholders will be provided with a further progress report via press release and an analyst's conference call.