Codexis cuts will affect pharma business

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Enzyme

Codexis job cuts will hit pharma unit
Codexis says job cuts will affect pharma business, but is confident that Merck & Co deal and enzyme tech IP will drive growth.

The industrial enzyme maker announced plans to reduce its 340 person strong workforce by 133 earlier this week in response the termination of a biofuel development agreement it held with Royal Dutch Shell​.

A company spokesman told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “Our pharma division will be affected by the cuts, but nothing that affects our future growth potential in that sector.

He cited the recently expanded agreement with US-based Merck & Co​ – which will see Codexis work on production enzymes on the drugmaker's behalf until at least 2015 – as a key growth driver.

We look forward to developing more enzymes with Merck that enable novel and cost-advantaged manufacturing pharmaceutical processes, and we are confident the collaboration will continue to add more promising product candidates to our already robust product pipeline​.”

The spokesman also referenced the US patent​ Codexis received for a production method for intermediates used in hepatitis C treatment, as well as regulatory backing for a novel enzymatic process for the manufacture of simvastatin as important to the future performance of its pharmaceutical industry business.

New CFO

In addition to the job cuts, Codexis also announced some changes to its executive team, calling in former Response Genetics VP David O’Toole as its new CFO. 

We asked if O’Toole’s drug industry track record – before his two-year tenure at molecular diagnostics company Response he worked at Abraxis Bioscience and Celgene – would help Codexis win pharmaceutical sector customers.

The spokesman responded that: “We look forward to David’s leadership in controlling costs and preserving our balance sheet as we work through the company’s transition over the next few quarters. His deep biotech experience will be vital in continuing to grow our pharmaceuticals business. ​ 

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