An antibiotics biotech begins wind-down, lays off nearly all workers
An antibiotics biotech is about to throw in the towel, dealing another blow to a sparse R&D field and raising red flags in the light of antimicrobial resistance.
Nabriva Therapeutics, which has been soul searching for the past two months with an advisor, is laying off nearly all its employees, returning the promotion and distribution rights of an antibacterial to Merck, canceling a loan agreement and making other moves to “adequately fund an orderly wind down of the Company’s operations.”
An agreement with contract sales organization Amplity Health was also axed, Nabriva said, but the biotech will still make its products available.
The Dublin biotech is letting go of all employees, including leadership, who are “not deemed necessary” for the folding of operations. Nabriva previously disclosed 40% layoffs in November, when it flashed the red light on early-stage R&D.
Torreya Capital is still helping Nabriva find buyers for lefamulin and IV fosfomycin, the biotech said Friday. Lefamulin is marketed as Xenleta for the treatment of community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, but Nabriva has struggled to expand it into other settings.
The nearly 17-year-old Novartis spinoff has also failed to get fosfomycin across the finish line. The antibiotic has been rejected by the FDA twice over manufacturing issues in recent years. A form of the antibiotic has been available outside the US for decades, and Nabriva bought an IV version from Zavante in 2018.
The board could seek liquidation and dissolution, Nabriva said.