(Recasts; adds details, background)
Aug 5 (Reuters) - Biopharmaceutical firm Pharmacopeia Inc PCOP.O said it cut about 40 percent of its workforce to focus on its strategic initiatives, and expects to take a related severance charge of about $3.0 million in the third quarter. Tuesday’s jobs cuts and a workforce reduction implemented in May has reduced the company’s workforce by more than 50 percent from previous levels. The company on Tuesday also said it plans to begin a mid-stage clinical trial for its experimental blood pressure drug, PS433540, focusing on the indication of diabetic nephropathy.
Pharmacopeia is also considering opportunities to partner the development of PS433540 for various indications. The drug proved to be significantly better than a dummy pill in reducing blood pressure in patients with mild to moderate hypertension in a mid-stage clinical study in May. Pharmacopeia currently has about seven more drug candidates in early- and mid-stage clinical trials, which are being developed alone or with partners like Schering-Plough Corp SGP.N and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (BMY.N).
Shares of the company, which have fallen 40 percent this year, closed at $2.85 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)