Exelixis to cut jobs after prostate cancer drug fails late-stage study

Sept 1 Mon Sep 1, 2014 7:02pm EDT

Sept 1 (Reuters) - Cancer drug developer Exelixis Inc said on Monday it would cut about 70 percent of its workforce after its experimental prostate cancer drug cabozantinib failed a late-stage study.

The drug did not show a statistically significant increase in overall survival in men treated with cabozantinib as compared with prednisone, the company said.

Prednisone, a generic drug manufactured by several companies, treats some inflammatory diseases as well as some types of cancer.

In 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Exelixis' Cometriq, or cabozantinib, for the treatment of a rare type of thyroid cancer.

As a result of the outcome of the trial, the South San Francisco, California-based company said it would cut about 160 employees.. It would have about 70 employees remaining.

The job cuts would allow the company to focus on the late-stage clinical trials of cabozantinib in a form of kidney cancer and advanced liver cancer, Exelixis said.

The company anticipates a one-time restructuring charge associated with the workforce reduction of about $6 million to $8 million. (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Cooney)