Oscient to cut sales and marketing forces by 180

Waltham, MA-based Oscient Pharmaceuticals announced a restructuring that will result in 180 layoffs, including its 150-person sales force and approximately 30 other sales and marketing positions, the company said in a release. The layoffs with begin next month.

The cuts follow the company's decision – based on the conservation of financial resources – to discontinue sales force promotion on two products: Antara (fenofibrate), a cardiovascular drug, and Factive (gemifloxacin mesylate), an antibiotic. The products will continue to be available to physicians and patients.

The company reported a net loss of $11.5 million during the fourth quarter of 2008, up from a net loss of $14.7 million in Q4 2007, according to an annual report. Sales revenue for Antara was up during the same period, reaching $21.2 million during the fourth quarter, from $19.3 million during Q4 2007. Factive, however, decreased from $5.9 million during Q4 of 2007 to $5.1 million during Q4 2008, according to the report.

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