Glycomed Inc. has restructured its business in a move that includes anarrowing of the company's development focus, a 30 percent reductionin personnel and the accelerated departure of Alan Timms, who was thecompany's chairman and CEO.Brian Atwood, the Alameda, Calif., company's president and new CEO(pending board approval), told BioWorld on Friday the restructuringplan was put into action beginning in mid-May. At that time, thedecision was reached to discontinue development of Astenose, a drugcandidate for restenosis, because of the competitive environment andpotential development costs. Atwood said Glycomed also decided thento drop or trim programs dealing in drug delivery technology and non-carbohydrate molecules.The company, which Atwood said will reduce its work force from 101to 71, will focus on the discovery and development of small moleculetherapeutics based on cell adhesion inhibitors and other biologicallyactive carbohydrates for the treatment of inflammatory diseases andcancer."With more than $60 [cash] million on hand, Glycomed is fortunate tohave the resources to pursue its core technology when financingoptions for biotechnology companies are so limited," Atwood said.He said the changes will reduce the company burn rate, which wasabout $19 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, to about $10million per year."One of the things we focused on during our restructuring analysis wasthe concept of a strategically sustainable burn rate," Atwood said. "Wethink this is a movement in the industry at large, to very seriouslyscrutinize burn rates and determine if they're strategically sensible."Glycomed's product, Galardin, is finishing Phase II/III studies for as atreatment for corneal ulcers. Atwood said resulted are expected to beannounced in mid-fall.Glycomed has a collaboration with Genentech Inc., through 1997, thatincludes about $6 million in equity and research payments toGlycomed in exchange for the right by Genentech Inc., of South SanFrancisco, to joint ownership in three drug candidates. Thecollaboration, extended in July 1993, also could include rights tocompounds discovered at the Alberta Research Council in Edmonton,to which Glycomed has exclusive worldwide rights as part of a 1992agreement.One compound in development with Genentech is Celadin, orGM1998, a cell adhesion inhibitor for treating acute inflammation. IfGenentech wants to join in a joint venture after Phase II trials,Genentech would reimburse Glycomed 50 percent of the developmentcosts and the companies would share future costs.Other compounds in development at Glycomed are GM1892, atreatment for acute organ failure; GM6001, an anti-cancer agent; andGM1474, an anti-cancer agent and anti-angiogenic. Atwood said thegoal is to file an investigational new drug application for at least one ofthe compounds by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 1995).Atwood said Glycomed would continue to seek corporate partners forits compounds, and look to in-license compounds it believes arepromising.Timms will continue as a director and consultant at Glycomed, and willdo related activities for other companies, Atwood said. Timms'departure originally was scheduled for October. R.W. (Bill) Anderson,who was vice president and chief financial officer, also left thecompany. Timothy Morris, formerly Glycomed's controller, waspromoted to senior director of finance.Glycomed has 12.6 million shares outstanding. Its stock(NASDAQ:GLYC) closed unchanged Friday at $2.13 per share. n
-- Jim Shrine
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