UPDATE 1-Neurobiological ends stroke drug development, cuts jobs

Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:31am EST

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Neurobiological Technologies Inc NTII.O said it suspended further development of Viprinex, its treatment for acute ischemic stroke, and would cut about 75 percent of its workforce.

The company had suspended enrollment in the clinical trials for Viprinex in December after an interim analysis showed that the drug did not improve overall patient outcomes.

"Following a thorough review of the interim data, it was determined that there was no group of patients in which Viprinex improved outcome, and therefore further development is not warranted," Chief Medical Officer Warren Wasiewski said in a statement on Tuesday.

Majority of the employees will be terminated this week, with additional employee terminations planned for February and March, the company said, adding that it was only keeping the minimum employees necessary to carry out operations and complete contractual obligations.

Shares of the company closed at 45 cents Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Jennifer Robin Raj in Bangalore; Editing by Himani Sarkar)