A Medical Device Daily

In an effort to reduce its cash burn and preserve cash for ongoing operations, Northfield Laboratories (Evanston, Illinois) said it has eliminated 13 positions at its manufacturing facility in Mount Prospect, Illinois, and has reduced hours for remaining staff.

The company also said it is closing its corporate offices and relocating staff to the owned Mount Prospect facility to further reduce operating costs. Northfield said it is also continuing its efforts to seek additional financing.

Following the recent completion of FDA's pre-license inspection of the manufacturing facility, Northfield said it believes these actions can be taken and still maintain the capability to address manufacturing, regulatory and licensing issues.

Northfield also has advised the city of Evanston, the village of Mount Prospect, and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity that unless additional funding for operations is obtained, the company plans to effectuate a "plant closing" under the Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and applicable regulations, which may result in the termination of employees at its main office and plant facilities in 60 days, or around May 5.

At the end of the second fiscal quarter on Nov. 30, 2008, Northfield had $10.1 million in cash and marketable securities. Based on the implementation of the measures described, Northfield said it believes it will have sufficient cash to continue operations until April 30.

Northfield has a target FDA review date of April 30, for its Biologics License Application for its human hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, PolyHeme.

Northfield develops a hemoglobin-based oxygen-carrying red blood cell substitute. The initial indication it is seeking for its investigational product PolyHeme is the treatment of life-threatening red blood cell loss when an oxygen-carrying fluid is required and red blood cells are not available. According to the company, PolyHeme is a solution of chemically modified human hemoglobin that requires no cross-matching and is therefore compatible with all blood types. It has an extended shelf life in excess of 12 months.

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