Latest Metabasis Cutbacks Leave Just Seven Employees

Xconomy San Diego — 

San Diego-based diabetes drug developer Metabasis Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MBRX) laid off 35 of its 125 employees in November, and another 38 in January. Those cutbacks amounted to 28 percent and 43 percent of the biotech’s workforce, respectively.

At that time, new CEO Mark Erion said he was optimistic the diabetes drug, MB07803, would lead to a strategic collaboration later this year. Erion also looked to establish a collaboration to continue work on its glucagon antagonist program. When Metabasis reported its first-quarter financial results earlier this month, Erion indicated the company is still searching for a strategic partner or to raise capital later this year.

Today Metabasis announced it is reducing its workforce by another 45 employees, or approximately 85 percent of the company’s remaining payroll. Only seven employees will be left. The company sites “difficulty in raising sufficient capital” and says it may be forced to cease operations entirely.

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