Patch failure leads to job cuts
Vienna – Austrian vaccine specialist Intercell has halted the development of its travellers’ diarrhea vaccine patch after the product failed in a Phase III trial. The company’s management says it will now align its structure to the new situation, and more than 80 jobs will be axed. The Austrian biotech firm said the decision was made after the candidate did not meet efficacy endpoints when it failed to protect against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-mediated diarrheal infections during a randomised and placebo-controlled Phase III study involving 2,036 travellers. Intercell expects to post a significantly higher loss for 2010 than the EUR40m it had forecast, since it will no longer receive milestone payments related to the diarrhea programme.