GSK shares hit as analyst touts potential of Merck’s experimental HIV drug; Interleukin Genetics slashes staff; Trillium looks for partners

⇨ Gilead and GlaxoSmithKline have been getting the lion’s share of the attention for new HIV drugs, but Citi’s Andrew Baum says that Merck’s experimental EFdA, with potential as a daily pill or twice yearly injection, could beat the leaders at their own game. That thought dinged GSK shares, with the pharma giant heavily dependent on their work in HIV. Reuters has the story.

⇨ Genetic test maker Interleukin Genetics $ILIU has decided to slash its staff to a handful of employees after it was unable to restructure a debt payment plan. The Waltham, MA-based biotech cut 5 staffers, more than half of its roster, as it shuts down test processing and examines its strategic alternatives. The company has less than a million dollars in cash and $5.6 million in debt.

⇨ Toronto-based Trillium $TRIL says it is looking to partner out a preclinical program focused on c-Myc as it concentrates on CD-47. Trillium says it will continue work on TTI-2341, an EGFR inhibitor, but wants to pursue partnering talks there as well.

⇨ Troubled Opexa Therapeutics $OPXA has agreed to a reverse merger with Acer Therapeutics.

⇨ Recro Pharma $REPH has bagged neuromuscular blocking agents and a proprietary chemical reversal agent from Cornell University in a deal that comes with an unspecified 6-figure upfront as well as milestones.

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