September 16, 2008 / 3:15 PM / 10 years ago

CORRECTED - CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Cytokinetics to stop cancer research, cut job

(Corrects paragraphs 1 and 3 to clarify the company is stopping all cancer-related research, not stopping development of cancer treatments currently in its pipeline) (Recasts; adds details)

Sept 16 (Reuters) - Biopharmaceutical company Cytokinetics Inc (CYTK.O) said it will cut about 29 percent of its workforce and stop all cancer-related research to focus on developing drugs to treat problems related to muscles.

The company, which would be left with 111 employees after the job cuts, expects to record restructuring charges of about $2.5 million in the third quarter.

Cytokinetics was involved in the development of three drugs for treating cancer, according to the company’s website. The company may further develop the three drugs in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK.L) (GSK.N) but will discontinue all oncology-related research activities.

The company’s lead drug candidate, CK-1827452, to treat heart failure is currently the subject of a mid-stage trial. Cytokinetics plans to conclude the ongoing trial and deliver the data to Amgen Inc (AMGN.O) under an agreement between the companies. The South San Francisco, California-based company plans to start another mid-stage trial of the drug in 2009.

The company also plans to develop smooth muscle relaxants for the treatment of asthma and hypertension, as well as therapies for the treatment of frailty and neuromuscular diseases.

Cytokinetics expects 2008 cash operating expenditures between $76 million and $81 million, including severance costs and expenses related to clinical trials and consultants. Shares of the company closed at $4.70 Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)

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