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90 La Jolla Pharmaceutical Employees to Be Laid off

Most of La Jolla Pharmaceutical's 90 employees will be  laid off in the wake of the failure of the company's lead drug candidate for  the treatment of lupus, it was announced today.

The exact number of cuts isn't yet known, but it will be "most of the  company," said Andrew Wiseman, director of investor relations for La Jolla  Pharmaceutical.

The company reported that in addition to the layoffs, operating expenses  will be cut to preserve cash and remaining assets, while it considers  "winding down the business" or a potential sale.

The cuts follow the announcement earlier this month that La Jolla  Pharmaceutical's Riquent drug failed in clinical trials.

"We are very disappointed that the Riquent program was not  successful," Dr. Deirdre Y. Gillespie,

"Following the receipt of the interim efficacy results, we have  undertaken activities to rapidly reduce costs, paring down to the minimum  necessary to carry out basic operations and address contractual obligations,"  she said.

"Unfortunately, Riquent was our sole significant asset. The only other  program in our research pipeline targeted SSAO inhibitors, which are at an  early preclinical stage and of minimum value."

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