Pharming announces restructuring plan

Will mean as yet unspecified job cuts

Dutch biotech company Pharming Group has revealed a restructuring of its operations in The Netherlands that will cut costs by €3.5–5m annually over the next 12–18 months.

The company has filed its restructuring plan with the Dutch authorities, which is required when there is a need to lay off more than 20 people.

Pharming did not specify how many job cuts it intended to make, but said the plan continues a restructuring initiated in June by the closure and subsequent sale of Pharming's US facility.

Sijmen de Vries, ceo of Pharming, said: ‘This restructuring will allow Pharming to implement the next steps in its business strategy: transitioning from a mainly internal research driven model to a market driven, externally focused, collaborative research and development model.

‘It is clear that Pharming must adopt a leaner, more cash efficient business model if it is to survive in the longer term and we firmly believe that these actions will help to re-position Pharming to create value for our stakeholders.’

The firm will continue to develop Ruconest (INN conestat alfa), a recombinant version of the human protein C1 inhibitor, which is undergoing a Phase III clinical trial that should be completed by the end of the third quarter.

Ruconest is being evaluated for the treatment of acute attacks of angioedema in patients with hereditary angioedema (HAE).

Santarus has secured the exclusive rights from Pharming to commercialise Ruconest in North America for the treatment of acute attacks of HAE and other future indications.

Under the terms of the licensing agreement with Santarus, Pharming will receive a US$10m milestone payment upon successful achievement of the primary endpoint of the Phase III clinical study. Pharming could also receive $5m from Santarus if the FDA approves the Biologics License Application for the drug.

Earlier this week, Pharming secured an equity working capital facility of up to €10m over two years with Kingsbrook Opportunities Master Fund and other institutional investors to ensure that the Ruconest trial is carried through to completion.

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