After Phase III Amyloidosis Failure Prothena Slashes Workforce In Restructuring
In the backlash following the failure of its late-stage amyloidosis drug, Prothena has announced it will cut 57% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan.
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AstraZeneca’s recently-acquired Alexion unit is paying $150m upfront to buy the remainder of Caelum Biosciences and its late-stage therapy for light chain amyloidosis, a rare disease in which misfolded amyloid proteins build up in organs throughout the body, including the heart and kidneys.
Roche is paying Elan spin-out Prothena $45m in the near term as part of a new collaboration to develop and commercialize antibodies that target alpha-synuclein. The agreement includes PRX002, Prothena's monoclonal antibody for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, which is currently in preclinical development and is expected to enter Phase I trials in 2014.
Elan has carried out the demerger of its drug discovery activities into a new company, which it has named Prothena. The operation, which the firm announced back in August when its Phase III Alzheimer's antibody, intravenous bapineuzumab, partnered with Janssen and Pfizer, failed in a pivotal trial, conducted by Janssen (scripintelligence.com, 7 August 2012, 13 August 2012 and 15 August 2012).