Ariad workforce shrinks by 40%

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Ariad Pharmaceuticals is firing 40% of its workforce. The company announced the cuts Friday, days after the company agreed to an FDA request that it halt all US marketing and distribution of its cancer drug, Iclusig. Concerns about blood clots prompted the FDA's request as well as forcing Ariad to idle a clinical trial earlier this month.

BioCentury reports that the EMA is reviewing the issue but has not advised doctors and patients to cease treatment.

Ariad CEO Harvey Berger said in a conference call last week that the clotting issue is not a new one, and that it appeared in the documents the FDA had access to when issuing its expedited 2012 approval.

The company told MM&M it will provide more information about the layoffs during this Tuesday's earnings call.

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