As part of an effort to shift the focus of the company away from discovering new drugs and toward late-stage development and commercialization of therapeutics such as LX4211 for diabetes and telotristat etiprate (LX1032) for carcinoid syndrome, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals will be letting go of roughly 115 employees—around 45% of the company’s total workforce. The staff being let go are mostly in research, discovery, and support positions.

Lexicon president and CEO Arthur T. Sands, M.D., Ph.D. said in a statement that, while it’s never easy to lay people off, “This transition increases Lexicon’s financial strength and will enable the company to more effectively advance our key late-stage programs and to prepare for commercialization.”

Lexicon says it hopes the layoffs and shift away from drug discovery will cut costs by around $14 million in 2014 and $22 million on an annualized basis. The firm adds that it had $151.2 million in cash and investments as of September 30, 2013, and had mentioned in November, in its third-quarter financial report, that R&D expenses for the three months ended September 30 were 32% higher than they were during the same quarter last year, having gone up from $19.2 million for the corresponding period in 2012 to $25.4 million.

Dr. Sands also announced that he, too, will be leaving Lexicon; he will remain on as CEO until a replacement is found and currently plans to work with the firm’s board of directors to come up with a succession plan to find a new CEO.

“Since Lexicon’s inception 20 years ago, I have been privileged to work with an exceptional team, founding and building a company that has evolved from fundamental genetics and chemistry to bring forth new drug candidates now in late-stage development,” Dr. Sands commented. “I look forward to continuing to actively lead the organization during this important period of transition as Lexicon continues to work toward the fulfillment of its mission to provide breakthrough therapies for patients.”

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