Lexicon CEO to leave, to cut almost half of staff

|About: Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, ... (LXRX)|By:, SA News Editor

Lexicon Pharmaceuticals (LXRX) sinks 10.5% premarket after saying that CEO Arthur Sands is leaving and that it will cut 115 jobs, or 45% of its workforce, with the layoffs coming mainly in R&D.

The move will save $14M for the rest of this year and $22M annually after that.

Lexicon is shifting its focus from drug discovery to completing the trials of therapies that are in late-stage development.

The company will now mainly concentrate on treatments for diabetes and carcinoid syndrome, which affects patients with a rare cancerous tumor.

The cost cuts come after Lexicon said last month that its irritable bowel syndrome medicine failed in Phase III testing.

"Lexicon "essentially acknowledged that a promised partnership for the diabetes drug LX4211 isn't happening, forcing the company to move the drug into phase III studies on its own," writes Adam Feuerstein. (PR)