The decision to remove Dr. Given and other senior managers isn’t a surprise. I predicted as much back on June 18. However, the real tragedy here are the 150 other employees who also lost their jobs because of this situation. Employees in global roles will be able to keep their jobs since Thelin is approved in Europe and Canada. The company will pay about $15 million in restructuring and severance costs. No word on how much Dr. Given will receive. I'll say it again, the trial lawyers are circling.
Encysive is really left with tough choices, no doubt leaving George W to do the dirty work. They can charge through yet another trial (hopefully getting it right this time) and get the drug approved (on about $50 million in cash reserves). Or Encysive also has the option to sell what remains of the firm to another biotech or smaller pharma. No word on anyone who would be interested in tackling this beast.
This story began unfolding on the same day that Encysvie’s lead competitor, Gilead Sciences (which recently acquired Myogen), received FDA approval for it’s PAH treatment, Letairis. In such a small and complicated disease, there really isn’t a prize for second place. Encysive’s Thelin won’t be DOA in the U.S., but don’t look for it to do great things.
The Encysive press release can be found here.