The company announces plans to reduce activities not critical to its development pipeline of drug candidates as part of its enhanced focus on clinical stage projects, it lays off 60 jobs and replaces the CEO, Christine Lind, with acting CEO Uli Hacksell.
Medivir will notify the Public Employment Office of potential employee redundancies impacting approximately 60 positions, mainly within pre-clinical research and administration. Medivir will also call for consultations with the trade unions regarding the possible consequences for the employees.
Reduce costs by two thirds
The plan is to reduce Medivir’s annual running cost base, excluding the clinical project costs, by approximately two thirds. Medivir is also exploring strategic alternatives for the research stage projects and organization.
“The focus on the clinical portfolio, together with the associated cost reduction within pre-clinical research, are necessary steps for us to continue to develop the value of our clinical stage projects in an optimal way,” said Dr. Uli Hacksell, acting chief executive officer at Medivir.
Medivir’s clinical pipeline consists of four projects; remetinostat for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (phase II), birinapant in combination with Keytruda for solid tumors (phase I), MIV-818, a nucleotide prodrug for liver cancer that recently entered into a phase I clinical trial, and MIV-711, an osteoarthritis candidate drug with fresh and promising data from the recent phase IIa extension study.
A new CEO
As a result of the new focus on clinical development, the board has appointed Dr. Uli Hacksell as the company’s acting CEO. Dr. Hacksell, currently on the board of Medivir, succeeds Christine Lind as of October 15.
“Medivir has a very strong clinical portfolio with inflection points in the near future that are crucial for optimizing its value. This calls for a firm management that is able to reinforce the focus on clinical development throughout the company,” says Anna Malm Bernsten, chairman of the Medivir board. “Uli is truly qualified to take over the leadership and his well-documented expertise in pharmaceutical R&D will be of great value to Medivir. Furthermore, he has a broad experience from building cost-efficient internationally leading biotech companies. At the same time, I want to thank Christine Lind for the dedicated work she has done for Medivir.”
“I look forward to taking on this role at a very important stage for Medivir. The Board of Directors has worked on a plan that will concentrate Medivir’s attention on the company’s robust clinical pipeline composed of transformative cancer drugs with multi-billion dollar sales potential. I will come back within short to present the relevant measures,” says Dr. Hacksell.
Image of Christine Lind and Uli Hacksell