ZymoGenetics Laying Off 32% of Staff

Thu, 04/30/2009 - 4:44am
SEATTLE (AP) — Drug developer ZymoGenetics Inc. said late Wednesday it will lay off 32 percent of its staff, or 161 employees, as it cuts research and development programs and seeks to outsource activities. The company sells Recothrom, which is used to control bleeding during surgical procedures. It also signed a deal worth up to $1.12 billion with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. in January, gaining a partner on a potential hepatitis C drug. ZymoGenetics expects the layoffs to save $30 million annually, starting in the third quarter. "While it is very difficult taking these actions, they are necessary given challenging market conditions and the changing focus of our business plan," said Chief Executive Douglas E. Williams, in a statement. The company is ending cancer and immunology research programs and said there will be a greater focus on "collaborative transactions" with the Bristol-Myers deal serving as a model. ZymoGenetics also said it will rely more on outsourcing for product development infrastructure. The company expects a $8.5 million charge for severance and other costs in the second quarter. Shares of ZymoGenetics fell 3 cents to $3.60 in after-hours trading after rising 3 cents to close at $3.63 during the regular trading session.

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