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Akela Pharma Announces Restructuring, Cuts One-Third of Workforce

Thu, 09/03/2009 - 6:53am
Akela Pharma Inc. is cutting about a third of its workforce as it undergoes a corporate restructuring to focus on its key cancer pain treatment Fentanyl Taifun. Akela, which is based in Texas but trades its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange, said Thursday it has reduced its employee headcount to 65 employees from 97. Some of Akela's international operations will be closed and the company's operational headquarters will be centralized in Austin. Akela also said that acting CEO Taneli Jouhikainen will leave the company. The Fentanyl Taifun project will be led by program management vice-president Ed Margerrison, and Marcelo Omelczuk, Akela's senior vice-president, business and product development, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Akela's PharmaForm subsidiary. Former Nventa Biopharmaceuticals (TSX:NVN) executive has joined the company as vice-president of finance. "Akela management is currently formalizing a new operating plan designed to optimize value from both business segments and will provide additional guidance on its corporate objectives in the near future," the company said in a statement. Akela's drug pipeline also includes a growth hormone releasing hormone, which is being developed for frailty and wasting in chronic renal disease. The PharmaForm subsidiary is a contract service provider in the area of hot melt extrusion, and also offers a portfolio of other innovative technologies in drug product development, manufacturing and analytical testing to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

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