Move will eliminate 16 jobs, bringing Genta down to about 60% of its staff in December 2006, when the FDA said it wouldn’t approve skin cancer candidate.

Genta once again plans to restructure its operations, cutting 16 people, or approximately 30% of its workforce. The firm will incur a one-time expense of $235,000 in the second quarter for severance and an annualized reduction in payroll of approximately $2 million.

The company has been struggling ever since December 2006 when the FDA issued a nonapprovable letter for its lead candidate, Genasense, for the chronic lymphocytic leukemia indication. The firm has since cut about 60 jobs.

Genta’s value has also plunged 91.77% since the agency’s decision, landing it in troubled waters with NASDAQ.  NASDAQ Listing Qualifications Panel recently granted the company’s request for an extension to achieve full compliance with the applicable listing requirements. Pursuant to the panel’s decision, Genta’s common stock was transferred from the NASDAQ Global Market to the NASDAQ Capital Market. Genta opened trading today at $0.37.

Genta’s appeal of the agency’s nonapprovable decision was to no avail, and the company was thus forced to refocus its resources. A Phase III trial of Genasense in melanoma patients will continue as planned. The company reports that it is seeking buyers for Ganite, which is marketed for the treatment of clearly symptomatic cancer-related hypercalcemia that has not responded to adequate hydration.

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