A year after a Supreme Court opinion put the final nail in the coffin of Amarin’s fish-oil heart medication, biotech is making some changes to keep its doors open.
The Irish drugmaker announced on Monday morning that it will cut 65% of its sales staff in the United States, which will effectively lead to a 90% drop from pre-pandemic levels and a 40% reduction in the number number of employees. In addition to this, it would also implement certain “reductions and reallocations of overall selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses as well as savings related to refining the company’s R&D strategy towards a more focused and progressive for its FDC program”.
Amarin said it would save the company $100 million over the next 12 months as it continues to work to maintain Vascepa, the brand name for the company’s industrial-strength fish oil drug. company for a variety of cardiovascular indications, alive and commercially viable. CEO Karim Mikhail said he would focus on launches of the drug in Europe.
“We appreciate the tremendous contributions of our colleagues, whose dedication to our mission has helped build this company and enabled us to launch an innovative product that has improved the cardiovascular health of millions of patients. These changes, while challenging, are necessary to support our ability to continue to bring VASCEPA/VAZKEPA to patients around the world,” Mikhail added in a statement.
Amarin also announced that CFO Michael Kalb has stepped down, bringing in former Cara Therapeutics CFO Tom Reilly to replace him. Reilly had also held financial positions at Allergan and Novartis. Amarin said in a statement that Kalb would be leaving the company “to pursue other interests” after a brief transition period.
The moves come after Amarin’s defeat in the Supreme Court last year, after judges refused to hear a biotech appeal following a district court ruling that found Amarin’s patents were invalid.
Amarin share price $AMRN rose 4% after the market opened on Monday, but is still a far cry from biotech’s former glory, when it once traded more than $20 a share. Today it is less than $2.