Schlieren – Swiss biotechnology company Cytos AG has finally devised a plan to help its lead candidate into Phase II, but to achieve it, the cash-strapped company is having to slash its workforce by a whopping 85%. To ensure the continued development of candidate CYT003-QbG10 against hay fever and asthma, the cutback will happen in two steps. Cytos’ current staff of 80 will be reduced to 30 by December of 2011, then down to 10 by May of 2012. Management will be bleeding too, with exits by Mark Richmond and Jean-Yves le Cotonnec leaving the company’s Board of Directors with just three members – Harry Welten, Philipp Müller and Frank Hennecke. The cutbacks have become necessary because of persisting money shortfalls. Cytos has an outstanding convertible bond of nominal CHF41.1m that is due at the end of February 2012. The firm projects that by then, its financing gap could still be as high as CHF17m.