Intercell AG to cut 50% cost after termination of Phase II/III trial of Staphylococcus aureus vaccine
Vienna – Austrian Intercell AG has lost its partner Merck & Co after termination of a Phase II/III trial with Intercell’s vaccine candidate V710 against Staphylococcus aureus, the most frequent cause of hospital-acquired infections. According to the independent Data Monitoring Committee analyses of the proof-of-concept study, V710 was unlikely to demonstrate statistically significant clinical benefit. Additionally, there were safety concerns due to higher overall mortality and multi-organ dysfunction events in the vaccine group, compared to placebo recipients. Shares of Intercell dropped by 25% after the announcement. At the end of May, Intercell had to recall 5,000 of its marketed vaccine Ixiaro against Japanese Encephalitis. By December, the company had terminated development of its vaccine patch in traveller’s diarrhoea due to efficacy problems. In a press conference, the company’s new CEO Thomas Lingelbach, who replaces Gerd Zettlmeisl explained that the company will refocus on its products under clinical development and will reduce its expenses by 50%, particularly in R&D. Together with jobs cuts by 15% compared to 2010 numbers, the company hopes to reduce losses in the next 4 years.