VIA Pharmaceuticals reduces workforce by 63%
Cardiovascular and metabolic disease biotechnology company Via Pharmaceuticals has launched a strategic restructuring and financing of its resources related to research and development of its line of drug candidates, beginning with a workforce reduction and a $1.25 million draw from a new $3 million secured Note and Warrant Purchase Agreement with the company's principal stockholder.

Noting that the affected workforce will primarily consist of finance and business development personnel, approximately 63 percent of employees will be reduced, leaving a total of six employees, San Francisco-based Via said.

Lawrence Cohen, PhD, CEO of Via Pharmaceuticals said: “By focusing our workforce on a core research and development team and raising this new financing, we have provided additional time to explore opportunities for advancing these promising product candidates, including strategic partnerships or additional financings."

Via's pipeline product candidates include:
  • VIA-2291, a Phase 3 ready inhibitor of 5-LO, a key enzyme for the production of leukotrienes, which are mediators of inflammation believed to be involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis.
  • VIA-3196, an IND ready thyroid hormone receptor (THR) beta agonist for the control of cholesterol, triglyceride levels and potential in insulin sensitization/diabetes.
  • A preclinical diacylglycerol acyl transferase 1 (DGAT1) metabolic disorders program.

According to the company, terms and conditions of the purchase agreement are described in the company's 2009 annual report, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on form 10-K at the end of last month.