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Biogen Idec restructuring

November 4, 2010 12:06 AM UTC

Biogen Idec Inc. (NASDAQ:BIIB) announced a restructuring on Wednesday that reduces headcount by 13%, terminates or divests 11 programs and focuses the company on neurology. Biogen Idec plans to discontinue efforts in cardiovascular indications and to spin out or out-license its cancer assets. The changes come four months after the company hired George Scangos as CEO .

Of the discontinued programs, the most advanced is lixivaptan from Cardiokine Inc. (Philadelphia, Pa.). The compound is in Phase III testing for hyponatremia. Biogen Idec made a $25 million payment to Cardiokine in connection with ending the companies' 2007 deal for the selective vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist. Biogen Idec will discontinue three Phase II cancer programs: galiximab for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), volociximab for solid tumors and BIIB021 for gastrointestinal solid tumors (GIST). The company also will cease co-marketing cancer and autoimmune drug Rituxan rituximab. Partner Genentech Inc., a unit of Roche (SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY), will now be solely responsible for Rituxan in the U.S. Of the seven other programs, four are in Phase I testing and three are in preclinical development. ...