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Rare Drug Developer Chiasma Lays Off More Workers After FDA Impasse

Xconomy Boston — 

Chiasma, whose application for FDA approval for its drug for acromegaly was denied in April, is cutting 44 percent more of its workforce to keep itself afloat as it tries to figure out its path forward in the U.S.

Since May, Chiasma (NASDAQ: CHMA) has reduced its total workers by 60 percent, leaving it with 25 executive, clinical, regulatory, and administrative employees, the company says. The Waltham, MA-based company announced in April that the FDA denied its request to approve octreotide (Mycapssa) for acromegaly, a rare disease that causes patients to produce too much human growth hormone. About 69,000 people suffer from it, according to Chiasma.

The FDA said it would need more evidence from Chiasma to warrant approval of the drug. Chiasma said in June it is exploring whether submitting additional clinical analysis, data, or some other means might earn approval. The company is studying the drug in a Phase 3 trial focused on getting the regulatory nod in Europe.

Chiasma fell 1.9 percent in trading as of 10 a.m. in New York Tuesday to $2.88 per share.