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Theratechnologies Lays Off 24 Staff as it Reworks its Research and Development

From Canadian Press DataFile (June 2, 2011)

MONTREAL _ Theratechnologies (TSX:TH) says it will lay off 24 workers as it reconfigures its research and development operations.

The Montreal-based pharmaceutical developer said Thursday that the move is part of an effort to "strengthen its growth potential" as it seeks regulatory approval for its flagship drug Egrifta in several international markets.

Chief executive Michel Huss said he met with the employees to inform them of the new direction of the company.

Egrifta is used to treat excess abdominal fat in some HIV-infected patients.

The drug received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month and Theratechnologies is seeking approval in the European Union and a number of Latin American countries.

Huss said the company intended to use a combination of private and public partners to advance research and development.

"The future of research and development undoubtedly lies in the public and private sector's ability to work in close collaboration," said Huss.

"While relying on Theratechnologies' established partnership experience, we will systematically call upon partners in the public and private arena to help us bring our R&D projects forward."

The company said it expects a $300,000 reduction in payroll expenses for the rest of this year, followed by $2.5 million in 2012.

Theratechnologies signed a distribution and licensing agreement with Sanofi-aventis last December that covers the commercial rights for Egrifta in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

In February, Theratechnologies signed a distribution and licensing agreement for the same drug with Ferrer International SA that covers Europe, Russia and several Asian countries including South Korea.


Posted: June 2011