Remaining group of 27 will focus on EU approval of antibacterial and additional Phase III studies required by the FDA.

Following a negative FDA response for its lead candidate, oritavancin, Targanta Therapeutics will make a 75% cut in its workforce. The company, which had slightly over $36 million in cash at the end of the second quarter, will incur a $5.8 million restructuring charge.

Targanta will let go of 86 employees, leaving it with 27 employees by the end of the year. This includes senior personnel chief development officer, Pierre E. G. Etienne, M.D., chief commercial officer, Mona Haynes, and vp of operations and head of Targanta’s Indianapolis site, Roger D. Miller.

The restructuring is meant to support the regulatory approval process for oritavancin in the EU and to clarify the regulatory pathway of the drug in the U.S. On December 9, the FDA said that it could not sanction oritavancin for complicated skin and skin structure infections (cSSSI) without confirmation of its safety and efficacy as well as further studies in the MRSA subgroup.

‘Targanta has transitioned from a company preparing for the commercial launch of its lead drug candidate to a late-stage clinical development company since receiving the FDA’s complete response letter to our new drug application for oritavancin,” points out Mark Leuchtenberger, president and CEO. “Targanta’s management team and its board of directors are in alignment that our best path forward to achieving our corporate goals and preserving shareholder value is to restructure the company and focus our resources and capital in a way that efficiently advances oritavancin for the treatment of cSSSI.”

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