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Enzon Pharma cuts more jobs, to stop drug development

(Reuters) - Enzon Pharmaceuticals Inc said it will suspend all clinical development activities, days after the cancer drug developer decided to explore a possible sale.

The company, in which activist investor Carl Icahn has a 13.29 percent stake, spent about $4 million last quarter on pipeline research and development and had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $288.7 million as of September 30.

It will also reduce its workforce from 43 employees to about 23-28, Enzon said. Last September, it laid off about half its workforce.

The biotechnology company has two drugs in mid-stage trials and a number of others in early-stage studies.

Enzon, whose revenue mainly comes from royalty payments, will incur about $1.4 million in charges related to the reduction in force and expects to record charges in the first quarter of 2013.

Shares of Enzon, which has a market capitalization of about $200 million, closed at $4.50 on Thursday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Prateek Kumar and Balaji Sridharan in Bangalore; Editing by Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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