Pharma, R&D

The Medicines Company brings out the ax, looking to jettison hundreds of jobs in top-to-bottom restructuring

The Medicines Company CEO Clive Meanwell is circling all the wagons around its late-stage PCSK9 development plans for inclisiran.

Clive Meanwell, The Medicines Company

The Alnylam partner said today that once the biotech completes an effort to sell off its infectious disease group, the company — which had 410 staffers in February — will chop its remaining work force down to a more affordable group of less than 60 staffers.

Meanwell had already put out word that he was looking for the best deal possible for the infectious disease business as the Parsipanny, NJ-based biotech zeroes in on an LDL lowering therapy that has the potential to overtake the leaders in the field: Regeneron and Sanofi as well as their chief rival Amgen.

The company’s stock $MDCO jumped 8% on the restructuring plans announced this morning.

Last summer the biotech reported that their drug — in-licensed from Alnylam — successfully slashed bad levels of LDL for up to a year with just two injections. That’s a key feature of its plan to supplant leading PCSK9 drugs already on the market when its pivotal studies are up in 2019. In the meantime, the biotech has been restructuring its business, selling off or shelving drugs and going all in on LDL, which would appear more valuable as more studies — like Merck’s anacetrapib trial — highlight the importance of cutting LDL over boosting HDL in delivering longterm cardio benefits.

Right after the data dropped in August, the FDA approved their antibiotic Vabomere (meropenem-vaborbactam), which is part of the infectious disease group now up on the sales block.

Meanwell had this to say in a statement today:

(W)e continue to expect to announce a transaction to divest the (infectious disease) business before the end of the year. In the meantime, independent of that transaction, we are finalizing plans to significantly restructure the remainder of The Medicines Company. We anticipate that the restructuring, which we intend to substantially implement within the next 45 days, will reduce headcount to less than 60 people at The Medicines Company (excluding the ID Business), significantly reducing go-forward annual operating expenses.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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