Santhera staff to get the axe
Liestal – Swiss Santhera AG has announced strict savings measures. Out of a total of 21 employees, almost every second is now slated to be sacked. The biotech firm is closing its department of preclinical development and scaling down administrative staff. The company is betting on its lead drug Catena, which is marketed in Canada as a treatment for the rare inherited condition Friedreich’s ataxia. In Europe, where Catena’s approval in this indication was refused, the drug could get a second chance as a treatment for the rare ophthalmological disease LHON. After filing the marketing application, Santhera is now waiting for a decision from the EMA, which is expected in the summer of 2012. The firm’s management has purchased the company some time with the decision to slim down. Santhera burns about CHF30m annually. At the end of June 2011, its cash position stood at CHF31.4m. These funds could now be stretched to last until 2013.