Scios Nova cuts 44 jobs, including 22 in Baltimore

November 05, 1993|By Bloomberg Business News Staff Writer Ross Hetrick contributed to this article.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Scios Nova Inc. said yesterday that it has cut 44 jobs, or 12 percent of its work force, and plans to take a $850,000 charge as part of efforts to become profitable within five years.

About 22 of the cuts are at the company's Baltimore operation, which will be left with about 145 workers including sales &L personnel, said company spokeswoman Kira Bacon. The local operation was acquired in September 1992 when Scios bought the Baltimore-based Nova Pharmaceutical Corp.

Scios Nova said last month that it was refocusing its activities to develop drugs that treat acute conditions such as kidney and heart failure. Acute disorders appear suddenly and generally are short-term in nature.

Scios Nova, which has never turned a profit, said it wouldn't develop drugs for chronic conditions such as diabetes unless it has a partner to help pay for research.

The company's lead drug is Auriculin atrial natriuretic peptide for kidney failure, which affects 130,000 Americans each year.

Auriculin is undergoing a Phase III test on people, typically the last tests before U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. Scios expects to finish the trial by the end of 1994.

Scios Nova also is developing Natrecor brain natriuretic peptide for acute congestive heart failure, which affects more than 700,000 Americans a year. Human studies are planned in a few months.

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