Nabi Biopharmaceuticals to Cut Staff, Moves Toward Alternatives

Published: Mar 16, 2012

Washington Business Journal by Jeff Clabaugh, Broadcast/Web Reporter

Rockville-based Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, whose hopes of a vaccine to help smokers quit were dashed by failed late-stage clinical trials, posted a $2 million fourth-quarter loss and said it will further reduce its head count.

The company also said it expects to announce the outcome of efforts to chart its future soon. It has been studying its options, including the sale or possible liquidation of the company.

After two Phase 3 trials last year showed its experimental vaccine, NicVax, showed no significant results, Nabi hired Piper Jaffray to help it explore strategic alternatives for the future.

“This has been an intense effort and we have made significant progress,” said CEO Raafat Fahim in a statement Thursday. “We expect to announce the outcome of the strategic alternatives process in the second quarter of 2012.”

Nabi (NASDAQ: NABI) still has one remaining NicVax clinical trial ongoing in the Netherlands in combination with Chantix, an established smoking cessation aid. It said it will further reduce its head count as that trial winds down.

A successful NicVax would have been a huge payday for Nabi. A development deal with GlaxoSmithKline PLC announced in 2009 included a $500 million payout had the drug been successfully commercialized.

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