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Drug Firm La Jolla to Cut 60 Jobs

From Bloomberg News

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co., which is developing drugs to treat autoimmune disease, said Wednesday that it would eliminate 60 jobs, or more than a third of its workforce, to save money for drug research.

The cuts will begin immediately and are expected to save $1.3 million in the first quarter and $200,000 in the second quarter, the San Diego-based company said in a statement. La Jolla said the restructuring was necessary for the firm to keep testing its lupus drug Riquent.

Chief Executive Steven Engle said in the statement that the drug needed an additional trial before the Food and Drug Administration would approve it. The company said this month that the FDA was unlikely to give Riquent an accelerated review after the drug didn’t show statistical significance in a Phase 3 trial.

La Jolla plans to apply for approval of Riquent in Europe, said Trista Morrison of Atkins & Associates, which handles public relations for the company.

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Shares of La Jolla rose 2 cents to 65 cents on Nasdaq. The stock has fallen 61% this year.


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