March 9, 2017
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff


SAN DIEGO – Retrophin (RTRX) is shutting down its Cambridge, Mass. offices and consolidating operations at the company’s San Diego headquarters by the end of 2017. The move is expected to result in some layoffs, the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange

Retrophin said the move is part of a strategic effort to “centralize expertise and improve efficiency” as part of its goal to expedite development of its clinical programs.

Shuttering the Cambridge, Mass. facility and laying off some of the employees could cost the company up to $4.5 million, Retrophin said in its filing. In its filing, the company did not specify how many positions would be shifted to the San Diego site and how many layoffs would be made. In its filing, Retrophin did say it planned to hire positions for its San Diego facility to fill in some of the losses.

The move comes after the company reported top-line revenue growth of more than 20 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016. In a year-end reporting statement, Neil McFarlane, chief operating officer of Retrophin, said the company is looking forward to “double-digit revenue growth in 2017.” The company expects full year 2017 net product sales to be in the range of $150 to $160 million.

Stephen Aselage, Retrophin’s chief executive officer, called 2017 an important year for the company as it moves its clinical programs toward filing for a New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So far, that prediction seems to be on track for Retrophin. Earlier this month, Retrophin announced plans to initiate a Phase III trial to enable a New Drug Application filing for sparsentan for the treatment of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disorder characterized by progressive scarring of the kidney often leading to end-stage renal disease. Retrophin said it anticipates to initiate the trial in the second half of 2017. In September, Retrophin reported Phase II results for sparsentan showed patients who received the drug achieved statistical significance in the study’s primary efficacy endpoint, reduction of proteinuria. Trial data showed the patients received a “greater than two-fold reduction of proteinuria compared to irbesartan, after an eight-week, double-blind treatment period,” the company said in its announcement.

Secondary trial endpoint data was also promising. Results showed that a significantly greater proportion of patients receiving sparsentan achieved modified partial remission of proteinuria, compared to irbesartan-treated patients, the company said.

Retrophin’s other key rare disease program is RE-024 for pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration (PKAN), a life-threatening neurological disorder that typically begins in early childhood.



Source: BioSpace