Medivir said it will eliminate 30 jobs in a reorganization designed to cut costs and refocus the company on developing oncology treatments.

The 30 jobs represented 24% of the company’s workforce of 127 staffers disclosed in Medivir’s Annual Report 2015. According to that report, Medivir continued to add cancer R&D staffers last year: “The company continued to strengthen its oncology expertise in 2015 and consequently recruited additional research personnel with expertise in this area.”

By year’s end, Medivir stated yesterday, the company will begin talks to seek partners for all remaining infectious disease assets in its pipeline—as well as for its osteoarthritis candidate MIV-711, a cathepsin K inhibitor, once its Phase IIa program has been completed.

The shift to cancer, Medivir added, will make use of the company’s technology platforms and know-how in protease inhibition and nucleotide-/nucleoside science.

Medivir said the reorganization will reduce its costs by approximately SEK 110 million ($12.5 million) annually. More than half of that projected savings, or SEK 60 million ($6.8 million) comes from narrowing the focus to cancer and cutting the number of early-stage research projects.

“The reduced early research organization creates flexibility to strengthen capabilities in clinical development and will enable broadening the pipeline with oncology projects in clinical phases,” Medivir said in a statement.

The remainder of the savings will be generated through efficiency improvements in administrative and commercial support functions, the company added.

Medivir said it will incur a fourth-quarter charge of approximately SEK 20 million (about $2.3 million) tied to its restructuring.

“I believe this reduced cost in early research, and a streamlined therapeutic area focus with a smaller and more cost-effective organization, will strengthen Medivir´s position as an efficient oncology company with a growing development pipeline and research platforms for sustainable growth,” stated Niklas Prager, the company’s CEO and president.

Medivir’s reorganization comes more than a month after it disclosed plans to split into two companies—one focused on developing its drug portfolio, the other focused on commercial operations.








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