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Neose Technologies said it will reduce its staff by 35% in connection with the discontinuation of NE-180 (GlycoPEGylated erythropoietin), its experimental erythropoiesis-stimulating agent (ESA) for the treatment of anemia in patients with chronic kidney disease and cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. The company had intended to partner the Phase II compound to conduct a Phase III trial, but “safety concerns expressed in recent quarters about marketed ESAs have not only impacted the market potential for new ESAs, but also made it unlikely that a collaborative relationship could be formed for the future development of NE-180 in a reasonable time frame,” Neose CEO George Vergis, PhD, said in a statement. The decision allows Neose to forego $60-$80 million of incremental spending over the next two years. The firm said it will pay cash severance benefits of about $900,000, mostly in early 2008.

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