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Sep 28, 2007

Idenix Restructures to Concentrate on HCV and HIV Programs

  • Idenix Pharmaceuticals reports restructuring plans that include an amendment to its collaboration with Novartis Pharma. The company says that approximately 100 positions will be cut, mostly related to the Novartis partnership.

    Idenix notes that it will incur between $5 million and $10 million in charges related to restructuring. It will be left with approximately 200 employees. The company estimates that the process will result in savings of $40 million to $45 million on an annual basis. Idenix continues to expect to end 2007 with between $100 million and $110 million of cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.

    “We have taken the steps necessary to streamline our organization and significantly reduce our expenses, while continuing to maintain the strength of our balance sheet,” points out Ronald Renaud Jr., CFO of Idenix. “We believe that we are now well-positioned to fund the advancement of our HIV and HCV discovery and development programs through 2009.”

    Idenix currently has a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), IDX899, for the treatment of HIV-1 in Phase I/II testing. Its HCV program is still in the discovery stage.

    Idenix reports that it has discontinued development of valtorcitabine for the treatment of hepatitis B. Similarly, the company will discontinue all development, manufacturing, and commercial activities for Tyzeka and Sebivo, both hepatitis B drugs. Novartis now has full responsibility for ongoing and future trials and regulatory filings related to these compounds. Idenix will receive a royalty on worldwide product sales.

    In May 2003, the companies established a collaboration at which point Novartis became a majority shareholder in Idenix. Currently Novartis owns 56% of Idenix and has first right of refusal to Idenix’ pipeline.



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