Array BioPharma Loses Licensing Agreement, Cuts Staff

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Array BioPharma made a companywide 20% reduction in staff on Monday, the company announced yesterday, bringing the number of Array's employees to approximately 200.

The company made those cuts on the same day that Amgen notified Array it had elected to end a collaboration and license agreement the companies entered into in December 2009.

That agreement called for Amgen to have the exclusive worldwide rights to develop and sell drugs to treat type 2 diabetes based on Array's small-molecule glucokinase activator (GKA) program. The most-advanced drug the companies were developing is called ARRY-403, or AMG-151. It is designed to help the body produce more insulin . Array said Amgen recently finished a mid-stage trial and it will share results from that study soon. The termination of the agreement will become effective Oct. 15 when all licenses and rights for the GKA program, including AMG 151, will revert back to Array.

Array was given $68.5 million by Amgen in initial and milestone payments but their deal could have had Array reaping an additional $658 million in further milestone payments.

Array said its reduction in staff will give it a one-time restructuring charge of $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2014, one that may increase later that year. Those charges will result from severance payments and outplacement assistance. The company also reported its fiscal-fourth-quarter results on Wednesday. Array said it lost $17.6 million, or $0.15 per share.

In July, Array entered into two new drug licensing agreements, one with Loxo Oncology, and the other with Celgene.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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