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Akcea to slash 10% of workforce after US FDA rejects rare disease drug

Akcea Therapeutics Inc. said it will reduce its workforce by about 10% following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's rejection of its rare disease drug.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company said in August that the U.S. FDA rejected its potential Familial chylomicronemia syndrome, or FCS, treatment, Waylivra.

FCS, which is characterized by the impaired function of a fat-breaking enzyme, causes high accumulation of triglycerides — a type of fat — in the blood and leads to inflammation or acute damage of the pancreas.

Akcea employed 100 people as of Feb. 20, 2018, according to its annual report.

The workforce reorganization, which was approved by the board Sept. 2, will impact U.S. employees primarily from the Waylivra field team and functions focused on Waylivra, the company said in a Sept. 6 filing.

Akcea, which is an affiliate of Ionis Pharmaceuticals Inc., expects to record third-quarter restructuring charges of between $2 million and $2.5 million due to the reorganization.