Sector News

Medivir cuts 30 jobs to focus on oncology

October 12, 2016
Life sciences

Medivir is taking the ax to its R&D team, putting 30 people out of work and narrowing its drug development focus on oncology. The reorganization represents a retreat from early-stage research and infectious diseases, areas Medivir is willing to back away from to save SEK 110 million ($12.5 million) a year.

Stockholm, Sweden-based Medivir made its name developing hepatitis C drug Olysio with Johnson and Johnson ($JNJ), but the fast evolution of that sector has hamstrung both companies’ ambitions.

Now, Medivir is getting out of the infectious disease sector altogether. The plan is to start looking for partners for its remaining infectious disease programs by the end of the year, and begin shopping osteoarthritis asset MIV-711 once a Phase IIa is complete. Only oncology assets will survive the cull. In parallel, Medivir is cutting into its early-stage research operation in an attempt to save itself SEK 60 million a year.

“I believe this reduced cost in early research, and a streamlined therapeutic area focus with a smaller and more cost effective organization, will strengthen Medivir´s position as an efficient oncology company with a growing development pipeline. Medivir´s ambition is to have a well balanced and broad pipeline from early to late stages of development,” Medivir CEO Niklas Prager said in a statement.

For now, Medivir is a long way from having a broad pipeline. Medivir’s publicly disclosed pipeline features one cancer program, a discovery-stage nucleotide DNA polymerase inhibitor it is developing to treat hepatocellular carcinoma. But, with Medivir presenting the reorganization as a way to bolster its development capabilities and pipeline of clinical-stage oncology assets, it appears to have plans to expand its slate of programs.

The cuts are the latest event in a rolling reorganization that has occupied Medivir for the past 18 months. In June 2015, Medivir narrowed its research focus on to infectious disease and oncology, shedding a neuropathic pain program and 10 researchers in the process.

The upheaval continued in October, when Medivir merged its research and development units. That action led to the departure of development chief Charlotte Edenius, who became the fifth senior executive to leave in 2015. Medivir also lost its EVPs of finance, corporate and business development and investor relations earlier in the year.

Medivir closed out 2015 by scrapping its collaboration with Cancer Research Technology and revealing J&J had canned development of a hepatitis C drug. J&J’s decision ended Medivir’s hopes of generating further revenues from the agreement.

Since then, Medivir has committed to splitting in two. The reorganization will create a business to sell Medivir’s portfolio of commercial products and a biotech to reboot its fast-thinning pipeline.

By Nick Paul Taylor

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

December 3, 2023

FDA names chief scientist Bumpus as Woodcock’s successor

Life sciences

The Food and Drug Administration’s top scientist Namandjé Bumpus will assume the role of principal deputy commissioner when longtime agency leader Janet Woodcock retires from that role in early 2024, according to an announcement Thursday.

December 3, 2023

AbbVie to buy cancer drug maker ImmunoGen for $10.1 Billion

Life sciences

US biopharma AbbVie has agreed to acquire ImmunoGen in a deal which values the company at about $10.1 billion and gives AbbVie access to flagship cancer therapy Elahere (mirvetuximab soravtansine-gynx), a first-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) approved for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (PROC), as well as a pipeline of promising next-generation ADCs.

December 3, 2023

EuroAPI appoints new Executive Committee members

Life sciences

EUROAPI today announced the appointment of David Seignolle as Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Eric Berger, and Marion Santin as Chief Legal, Compliance, and IP Officer, both joining the company’s Executive Committee. In his new role, David Seignolle will lead the transformation of the Industrial Operations organization.

How can we help you?

We're easy to reach