BioMimetic slashes workforce

Quarter of jobs gone at Franklin drug-device developer

BioMimetic Therapeutics on Friday cut a quarter of its workforce to conserve cash as it tries to win regulatory approval for its bone graft product.

The layoffs amount to at least 20 people at the Franklin-based company, which employed almost 100 at the end of 2010. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, officials said the cuts will require a $500,000 one-time charge this quarter but will save them about $2.5 million per year. A spokeswoman said the cuts were made in multiple departments and did not target any specific area.

The personnel slashing comes two weeks after Food and Drug Administration officials required BioMimetic to produce additional safety and effectiveness details about its Augment product, which will delay any possible approval by at least 15 months. That news sent BioMimetic shares (Ticker: BMTI) to all-time lows from which they have since recovered only slightly.

In its filing, BioMimetic also said it will "scale back the progress" of its Augment Injectable Bone Graft clinical program, which it had been running parallel to the approval process for 'regular' Augment. The company recently enrolled 100 U.S. patients in an Augment Injectable trial to evaluate the product in foot and ankle fusions.