US firm Inotek has launched a restructuring programme which will see its Israeli manufacturing plant sold off and all operations brought back to its Massachusetts headquarters.
In addition, several international offices are to be closed and all resources focused on the development of its two main clinical programmes and the advancement of its two preclinical programmes.
The manufacturing plant in Israel was purchased by Inotek in 2004 and since then $5m worth of investment has been spent on construction and capital equipment.
Inotek's redevelopment of the 40,000 sq ft site has created a GMP manufacturing facility with the capacity for scale-up, process research and pilot manufacturing.
A particular niche served by the site is multi-step synthesis and scale-up under cGMP conditions. The site has also been used to provide services, including R&D, QC testing, analytical development and process manufacturing, to chemical and pharmaceutical companies
Around 45 staff are employed at the site and they are listed among the facilities at the site in the brochure advertising the sale of the plant.
The cut-backs by Inotek coincide with the ending of their collaboration with Genentech which focused on the discovery and development of inhibitors of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) for the potential treatment of cancer.
As part of the venture, which started in July 2006, Genentech made an upfront payment of $20m (€12.7m), with an additional $405m (€257.5m) to be paid as various milestones were reached.
In March 2007 Inotek presented Phase II clinical data for INO-1001, a PARP inhibitor developed under the agreement with Genentech, at the American College of Cardiology's 56th Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans.
This demonstrated the safety of INO-1001 and its potential as a preventative agent for cardiac reperfusion injury. A month later preclinical data was published demonstrating that in rats PARP inhibitor PJ34 had enhanced the survival of certain brain cells following a stroke.
However, since then news of developments has been thin on the ground and both companies will now walk away from the deal. The agreement stated that additional payments would be made by Genentech after various clinical development and regulatory events and also that royalties would be paid to Inotek based on net sales of INO-1001.
The ending of the deal does not appear to have done Genentech any harm, with its profits jumping by 12 per cent for the first quarter of 2008 in comparison with last year.
PARP inhibition appears to still be at a relatively early stage and no announcements about payments from Genentech have been made since the deal was struck.
Inotek retains the rights to all assets and information related to the PARP inhibitor program from Genentech, including all compounds and intellectual property that were discovered or developed by either company within the collaboration.
Inotek has stated its desire to continue investigating possible applications for PARP inhibitors and will be doing so under a revamped executive management team.
The upper echelons of management have undergone significant changes under the current restructuring, with Dr Michael Loberg replacing Dr Andrew Salzman as CEO as well as new appointments to several other posts.